Local Retiree Hosts Birthday Charity Ball for Victoria Hospice
“No fleece, no leggings, no hiking boots! Just this once, can we all get dressed up?”
That is Micaela Serra’s one request for her 64th birthday party. To celebrate, she is hosting a fancy charity ball for Victoria Hospice on Tuesday, November 28th, also the date for Giving Tuesday, a national movement dedicated to giving back.
“When I started telling my friends my plans, most of them thought I was crazy.” Micaela, who recently retired from the University of Victoria after a long career in computer science and engineering, has lived in many places. “Nowhere do people seem to resist getting dressed up like in Victoria.”
The idea for a glamorous charity ball came while growing up in Milano, “My grandmother and I always watched the Hofburg Silvesterball broadcast on New Year’s Eve,” said Micaela. She would say: “that Princess of Monaco is a good girl, raising money for the Red Cross and thinking of others.”
Those words stuck with Micaela, who often incorporated charity into her teaching and birthday parties. She would ask friends and students to donate canned items for the food bank but she’s never done anything this big before. “It’s been a lot of planning, but I’ve kept my sense of humour.”
To prepare, Micaela, her husband Nigel, and a few friends have been taking dance lessons for four months to practice their waltzes. “We’re up to six twirls now, before we could barely do one.” Local band, The Backbeat, will provide live music and play some classic rock ‘n’ roll, so it won’t be formal all evening.
Micaela has always supported medical charities; “I understand what it means to be sick.” Rather than contribute to a charity which is specific to a single disease, she decided to raise funds for Victoria Hospice, for as she puts it, “everybody dies.” Micaela has seen friends and neighbours receive care, both on the unit and in the community, and has been impressed by the compassion of our interdisciplinary care team.
We thank Micaela and her fellow partygoers for supporting Victoria Hospice and having a ball while doing it! Donations fund almost half of Victoria Hospice’s annual operating costs and are critical for the ongoing operation of programs and services for patients and families.
Click here to learn more about hosting your own fundraiser for Victoria Hospice.