‘Wanderluxe’ Gala to Benefit the Herbie Fund


The Air Canada Foundation and SickKids Foundation report that “Wanderluxe,” a fundraising gala and travel auction that supports the Herbie Fund at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), is now sold out.

An online travel auction, open to the public, will be the first of its kind in Canada to benefit children’s charities. The bidding site,, going live on March 29, will feature 20 Air Canada Vacations’ packages that include Elite 35k Status for a year.

Additional packages include trips to Italy, India, France, and various destinations in Asia with flights in Air Canada’s International Business Class.

Guests at the inaugural Wanderluxe Gala, taking place on April 7, will have the chance to bid on five additional “bucket list” experiences. The event is being co-chaired by Amoryn Engel, Laurel Sussman and Benjamin Smith.

According to Smith, Air Canada’s president, Passenger Airlines, funds raised at Wanderluxe will allow bidders to support children through both The Herbie Fund, SickKids and the Air Canada Foundation.

“The event offers participants a unique way to turn vacation plans into philanthropic activity. The Herbie Fund brings children and their families from around the world for critical surgeries at SickKids; this is very much aligned with the mission of the Air Canada Foundation to provide sick children and youth access to the medical care they need.”

“At SickKids, we believe that where you live shouldn’t determine if you live, and that’s why we’re passionate about The Herbie Fund which brings children from around the world to our hospital – one of the world’s largest and most respected paediatric health-science centres – for life-saving or life-altering surgeries they can’t get in their own countries,” said Ted Garrard, president and CEO, SickKids Foundation.

“The funds raised through Wanderluxe will help us expand this incredibly important program and ensure that no child’s health is compromised because of where they live.”

The Wanderluxe Gala will be held in the newly renovated landmark building that formerly housed the Canada Bread Factory, in Toronto’s Liberty Village. The venue will be transformed by Jeffry Roick of McNabb Roick to create an exclusive supper club scene, with live entertainment, for the 400 invited guests. Chef David Hawksworth, of award-winning Vancouver restaurant Hawksworth, will be creating an original menu and has donated his time to personally cater the event.

The Wanderluxe live auction, featuring five experiential packages – including a trip to the Rio Olympics, a Celine Dion concert, and an Ultimate Kids Party at Atlantis in the Bahamas – is expected to be a highlight of the night, and to contribute significantly to the funds raised at this inaugural event.

Added Smith, “The generosity of our sponsors and partners cannot be overstated. This sold-out event has received amazing support from Air Canada Vacations partners and hotel groups around the world. The food and wine, the venue itself, and even the furniture, have been donated. This translates to more dollars to support the incredible work of the Herbie Fund, SickKids, and the Air Canada Foundation.”

Pictured (l-r) Ted Garrard, Laurel Sussman, Amoryn Engel and Benjamin Smith. (photo credit, George Pimental)