Perry Shak knows a bit about giving back to his community. The vice-president and portfolio manager of the Perry Shak Group at RBC Wealth Management was raised by a single mother who struggled financially, but benefited from financial and social support from the Montreal Jewish community throughout his childhood, including tuition assistance at UTT/Herzliah, summer camp, a trip to Israel and food baskets. Shak credits much of his adult success to the community support he received as a child and has found a unique way to pay it forward.
He recently partnered with friend Charles Le Pierrès, founder of the Canadian clothing chain Judith & Charles, to host the Redefine Success Gala, which took place on Oct. 17. Proceeds from the event went to Charles’ charity, Charlie’s Foundation, which provides English and sports education to impoverished children in the Dominican Republic. “I’m at a point in my life where I can tangibly give back,” says Shak. “I’m very grateful.”
Le Pierrès also came from humble beginnings and has dedicated himself to helping others through his foundation. The Redefine Success Gala was the first one for Le Pierrès and Shak, and was held at the beautiful Le Salon Richmond in Montreal.
Arlene Dickinson, star of the popular TV series Dragon’s Den and CEO of Venture Communications, was the guest speaker and impressed the crowd with her candid humour, while sharing personal anecdotes about her own struggles with raising a family as a single mother. Popular Montreal TV and radio personalities Isabelle Racicot and Donna Saker MCed the event and participated in a Q-and-A with Dickinson, following her talk. Ali Le Pierrès, Charles Le Pierrès’ daughter and vice-president of Charlie’s Foundation, informed the audience about the work her foundation is doing.
In addition to Shak and Le Pierrès, the event was sponsored by Air Canada, Judith & Charles and The Beat 92.5. Over 350 people attended and, in total, the gala brought in over $160,000 for the foundation.
“We are proud to know that proceeds will make a difference and empower the nation’s youth by providing new opportunities and lift barriers to a brighter future,” says Le Pierrès.
Shak says that while Charlie’s Foundation is very important to him, he plans on making both Jewish and non-Jewish causes the beneficiaries of such events in the future. “We are a viable, open and outward-looking community,” he says. “It’s important to support everyone.”
For more information on Charlie’s Foundation, visit charliesfoundation.org.
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