HoHoTO raises $22,500 for YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre at this year’s HoHOTO holiday benefit party

December 6, 2016 by Caroline Dinnall

HoHoTO has done it again.

With tremendous team effort and the help of sponsors, community supporters, and attendees, HoHoTO raised $22,500 in support of YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre at the annual HoHoTO holiday benefit party.

The HoHoTO team presented the girls with the big red and white cheque on the HoHoTO stage last Thursday.

HoHoTO 2016 reveal

“It’s because of sponsors, community support, and event attendees that we’re able to contribute to the Girl’s Centre and the activities they provide that lead to young women joining us in the workforce in a few years,” said HoHoTO Co-Chair Lee Dale during the cheque presentation.

With their faces beaming with excitement, the girls accepted the large donation with grace and gratitude.

“I just want to thank you so much from the Girls’ Centre. Like the trip that we went on last week was amazing and it showed how much people care about girls and they wanna give us experiences”…“Thank you for this opportunity and thank you for letting us come today,” said one of the teenage attendees of the Girls’ Centre.

Thank you from the YWCA.

Following the thank you speech was a loud roar from the massive crowd of over 400 attendees who filled up The Mod Club dance floor throughout the night.

The community danced to the selections of DJ Digital and DJ Marmalade for three straight hours in celebration of their efforts to help the next generation of digital professionals.

Following their sets came the dynamic duo Dre Ngozi and Nino Brown, who had their own dance party on stage while spinning top hits, to reggae, dancehall and hiphop for the out-of-control dancefloor, with company colleagues dancing the night away.

Dre Ngozi and Nino Brown

HoHoTO Dance Moves

But the night also called for some business.

As a break from the madness, upstairs sported Muskoka Brewery, with samples available for all guests, which in turn, kept them coming back for more Muskoka at the full bar downstairs, where each purchase raised even more money! While sipping on Muskoka Breweries’ Detour or Craft Lager tall boy, the digital community took this party as an opportunity to network and recruit.

Muskoka Brewery

While our multi-year top sponsor Kanetix had their hiring banner on display by the dance floor lounge area, the slew of Tribalscale employees on hand wore t-shirts with “We’re hiring” written on their backs, welcoming those looking for jobs to connect with them.

While upstairs, attendees also had a chance to meet HoHoTO partnering organizations, including Girls’ Centre staff, Ladies Learning Code, and the Upside Foundation. Ladies Learning Code had computer activities available for our youngest early evening attendee to test out while the Upside Foundation set up a booth of speakers informing passersby about their organization.

Ladies Learning Code

The HoHoTO silent auction returned this year, with a variety of wonderful prizes racking up more valuable donations to the Girls’ Centre. In particular, the signed bat from the Blue Jays’ Ryan Goins was a crowdpleaser.

The festive photo booth downstairs was a popular pit stop. Guests picked out their favourite Christmas accessories to get their photo taken by Saajid Motala, founder of Mix Tape Photos.

HoHoTO Mix Tape Photos

Although HoHoTO turned out to be an epic phenomenon, we stress that all of the fun was organized in order to help the young women from YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre.

HoHoTO would like to thank all sponsors who participated in making this year’s holiday benefit party a complete success. The dedication and willingness to be involved in providing girls with a promising future in tech is much appreciated.

Moving forward, the HoHoTO team will use funds raised from this year’s community event to help fund the Girls’ Centre, and continue to plan future initiatives like the current Girls’ Tech Tour and upcoming mentorship program.

Thanks to everyone who came out, and be sure to stay involved throughout the year as we continue to drive workplace diversity across Toronto’s digital community.