Kurt Chavolla’s life changed forever when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 14 years old.
On March 6, the now cancer-free 19-year-old Algonquin student spoke at the It’s a Fiesta: Nacho Average Wish Event.
This fundraiser for the Children’s Wish Foundation was the first in a series hosted by event management students.
“My wish was to meet the Pope,” said Chavolla to the crowd at Baja Grill. “The people working at Children’s Wish Foundation worked very hard and for a very long time to arrange this meeting.”
Chavolla then described his trip to Italy and how he ended up 10 metres away from the Pope thanks to the foundation.
Before Chavolla’s speech, the Latin rock band Azucar Jam played while guests bid on the silent auction, got their photos taken at a photobooth and guessed how many jelly beans were in a jar.
Laurence Lavallee, one of the hosts of the event, said that the silent auction raised the most money because of all the donated prizes.
These included a night’s stay at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, a variety of MAC makeup, a gym membership and much more.
Lavallee and her group members Alison Peverley, Michelle Hevey, Krista Dieplinger, Yang Liu and Broderick Wiseman presented their idea for the event in September and worked on it ever since.
“It’s definitely a long process,” said Lavallee. “It invaded our lives. Since October it’s all we do and it was really hard to manage with class, but it was definitely a good learning experience.”
At the fiesta, Claire Humphrey, who attended with his wife, Sally, said they bought tickets because the foundation helped their son when he was injured and put in a wheelchair.
“It’s nice to be able to come back and help out,” he said.