P: 519.886.9150


Sign-up for our Newsletter

Follow Us on:


Evening of Elegance 2023





On Friday, April 14, over a hundred guests joined us at St George Baquet Hall in Waterloo for our eighth annual Evening of Elegance event. This was the first year we were able to host a mix and mingle style event since 2019! 


During Evening of Elegance, guests socialized with their friends and new connections, participated in a silent auction with a range of items from generous local businesses, snapped fun photos in an elegant photobooth, and tried delicious bites with wine and beer pairings. They also had an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a 50/50 draw. A musical trio, Tre Gatte, also joined us for the evening to play instrumental covers of various popular songs during the first hour of the evening.


Chantal Huinink, motivational speaker, author, social justice advocate, and Regional Councillor in Waterloo, was our special guest presenter for the evening. Chantal is a strong voice representing folks with disabilities and is such a wonderful advocate for inclusive spaces in our community. She gave an inspiring speech about her campaign and work as a Regional Councillor and left the audience with a few key reminders. Chantal reminded us how improvements in accessibility often result in improvement of services for all. She was also a proud representative for disability accomodations, and what those with disabilities are able to accomplish when their accomodations are met. We were honoured to have her come speak at our event!


Neil Aitchison was a wonderful Master of Ceremonies for the evening, keeping our guests informed and entertained. His quick wit and sense of humour were delightful additions to the evening. 




2023 Volunteer Award Recipients





Karen Applebee


Karen Applebee has been the alternate representative for WRFN on the Waterloo Catholic District School Board Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for the past several years. Karen attends monthly meetings on behalf of WRFN where she actively participates in conversations responding to the needs of all exceptional students within the board. Through her lived experience, as the parent of a student with exceptional needs, Karen is a great resource for other parents.


As part of her role on SEAC, Karen acquires and maintains a working knowledge of special education programs and services. She advises SEAC colleagues of concerns relative to the students, parents and to WRFN whom she represents.


Karen first connected with WRFN when her daughter was in kindergarten. She was looking for support and connections with other parents traveling a similar journey. Karen now dedicates her time to giving back to other families through her commitment to SEAC.


Thank you, Karen, for your amazing commitment to WRFN families!






Lyn McGinnis


For more than a decade, Lyn McGinnis has been an integral part of Coffee Club. 


Coffee Clubbers expressed that it’s been a pleasure knowing Lyn all these years. “She is appreciated because she is always friendly and interested in our ideas and what we have to say.”  Another shared that Lyn is very helpful and informative. “She gives of herself to help Coffee Club participants and helps Carmen to help other people.” Participants also shared that Lyn does a great job setting up technology for movie nights and facilitating movie discussions.


Lyn is so willing to help with whatever anyone needs, and truly wants to do her best to ensure that everyone is safe and having a good time.


Thank you, Lyn, for making Coffee Club a safe and welcoming place!






Event Sponsors



This event is generously sponsored by Heffner Toyota. Additional sponsors include: Melloul-Blamey Construction, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Coupal Markou Commercial Real Estate Inc. Brokerage, and Your Neighbourhood Credit Union.













Two women in formal attire pose together for a photo.

A dessert table with a large tray of baklava and chocolate mousse. A bouquet of orange flowers and lillies adds some decor.

A man and woman pose together in front of a digital photobooth screen. Behind them is a gold sequin backdrop,

Two warming trays full of mini burgers sit next to a collection of wine glasses on a table with white linens.


A woman in a black and white dress stands in front of a silent auction table. She holds a glass of wine in her hands.

Two blonde women wearing glasses (one with tight curls, the other with straight hair) stand next to each other. Behind them is a tall table with a white table cloth. On the table is a bouquet of orange flowers like lillies.

A woman in a purple dress uses an electric wheelchair with orange-coloured metal parts. Her wheelchair is positioned in front of a podium. She is mid-sentence in her speech.

A memorial table with a photograph of a young woman with short brown hair and glasses. Behind her photo is a photograph of an orange lily that she had taken. Real lillies stand in a vase on the other side of the table. A name tag and dry erase marker can also be seen on the table, along with orange and gold paper flowers.


A silent auction table filled with various items including handmade wooden tables

A gentleman in a black suit jacket and blue shirt stands at a wooden podium speaking into a microphone.

Three women in bright coloured formal wear pose together for a photo.

A table is filled with various charcuterie items like deli meats, cheeses and olives.