On Saturday night, a crowd of 1400 partied disco-style at Community Rocks, a fundraising event in support of people with an intellectual disability. The sold-out affair was held at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and raised more than $600,000 for local developmental services agency Community Living Toronto.
The “party with a purpose” began with cocktails and lots of fun, 70s-themed activities. As John Travolta replicas twirled, guests could pose at the photo booth, get creative at a massive Lite Brite wall, or play Pong, a much-loved arcade game that was first released in the disco era.
Passed hors-d’oeuvres and food stations included gourmet versions of classics like Hamburger Helper and “TV dinners.” For dessert, throwback pastries like Joe Louis and Twinkies were on offer alongside treats from an ice cream truck parked right inside the venue.
Adorned with glow bracelets and necklaces, guests danced on a mirrored floor under the sparkling lights of countless disco balls. A group of professional disco dancers performed choreographed numbers before leading everyone into the concert hall for the evening’s main event – a private performance by the Canadian group Sam Roberts Band. “We played Community Rocks in 2016 and had an amazing time,” said Roberts, the recipient of 6 Juno Awards. “This year was no different. It’s a very fun and welcoming atmosphere.” Sam Roberts Band had the whole crowd on their feet, singing and clapping along.
With his uplifting and energetic style, host Ben Mulroney kept the house engaged throughout the evening. This was his third time hosting Community Rocks. “I always enjoy being part of this event – it’s a way for our city to come together as a community in support of a great cause,” remarked Mulroney.
Notable attendees included Toronto Mayor John Tory. “We are thrilled with the turnout and happy to have exceeded our fundraising goal,” added Don Roger, Chair of Community Rocks, Patron’s Council Member at Community Living Toronto, and Partner at Torys LLP. “This event truly helps us become a more inclusive city.”
After the concert, the party continued on the disco dance floor. Guests in bell-bottoms and platform shoes boogied the night away, proving that this community really does rock.
Photo: Ben Mulroney up on stage hosting the Community Rocks event.