News at Medicine - November 2011 - Monte Carlo Charity Gala bigger and better than ever

Monte Carlo Charity Gala bigger and better than ever
November 9, 2011
There’s a tangible excitement building among second-year medical students as Saturday, Nov. 19, approaches. That’s the date for the Monte Carlo Charity Gala, an annual event that has been organized by medical students for 35 years.


Most of the second year medical class is involved in this year’s Monte Carlo Charity Gala, with 32 members of the class on the organizing committee.
Four second-year medical students all dressed up for Monte Carlo. Laura Nugent, left, Ashley Blagdon, front, Laura Butler, right and Megan Burke, back.

It’s a long tradition, and each year the event gets bigger and better. Most of the 65 students in the second-year medical class are involved in the event, with 32 students on the organizing committee. All 49 female members of the class will be performing a choreographed dance during the evening, and that’s just a small part of the entertainment.

This year’s theme is Cirque de la Soirée and the entertainment includes stunts throughout the evening featuring the local school of acrobatics group Acro-Adix. The glamorous, black tie night will be filled with extravagant lights, décor, music and entertainment, plus a variety of games and auctions. It’s taking place in the biggest venue yet – the St. John’s Convention Centre.

“This meant we had to have an increased design budget,” explained Julia Curtis, co-chair of the organizing committee. “Last year the class of 2013 raised $8,000 to hold their Monte Carlo. We started from scratch this year and have already raised $12,000 on our own and are hoping to raise another $4,000.”

With extending gaming time – up to midnight – the Monte Carlo organizing committee is relying on the help of undergraduate volunteer students to keep the gambling tables open while other entertainment is going on. The evening finishes with a live band, Recall, who is donating their time to the charity event.

This year’s Monte Carlo Charity Gala is going back to its roots. The very first Monte Carlo in 1977, started as a fundraiser to help an injured classmate, featured pie-throwing contests. This year’s event re-introduces this activity, with the proceeds going to the Haiti Project Broken Earth, whereby Newfoundland doctors Eastern Health volunteers provide medical services for earthquake victims and ongoing medical support. Fifteen doctors are volunteering to be pied, and participants can auction for the pleasure of throwing the pies.

All proceeds go to selected local charities. This year’s charities are the Alzheimer Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, Inc., the Newfoundland and Labrador Down Syndrome Society, the Single Parent Association of Newfoundland, the Memorial University Student Union's Campus Food Bank, and the Tommy Sexton Centre.

For Ms. Curtis and the other organizers of the 2011 Monte Carlo Charity Gala, the hardest work is coming up. “Right now I’m spending about 10 hours a week on this event and I expect the next few weeks will be really hectic!”
But when it comes time to pass out the cheques, it’s all worthwhile. Last year $58,800 was raised for charity and this year the medical students plan to raise even more.

For the first time there will be a cash entrance fee to the Monte Carlo Charity Gala. It’s $20 for advance tickets (available at the Student Affairs Office in the Faculty of Medicine) or $25 at the door – the good news is there a door prize of $2,500.

For more information about this year’s Monte Carlo Charity Gala visit