For five years now, LinkNow Media has been raising money for the Batshaw Youth and Family Centres during the holiday season. The idea started when we realized the same old secret Santa gift giving tradition just wasn’t doing all it could.

Sure, it’s fun getting joke gifts from your coworkers, but is that really what the season of giving is all about?

Our search for a new tradition lead us to the Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, a non-profit organization that has been providing underprivileged children with the support they need for over 25 years.

Getting the Funds

Once you decide that you’re going to run a fundraiser, the next step is to figure out the best ways to drum up some funds. On top of a toy drive and sharing our donation page all over social media, we opted for a talent show and charity auction. Our fifth year’s show theme was “Game Show Night”!

The LinkNow Media family, and some of our closest friends, gathered at the Batshaw Centre’s auditorium on December 8th to put on one unforgettable night.

Hosted by the fabulous and hysterical Max Karpman—the man, the myth, the legend—Max even provided attendees with a laugh-out-loud video intro featuring our fearless leader Wesley Mendelovitch, and some choice LinkNow employees who we all know and love, all of whom were portrayed by Max himself.

Stocking up on pizza, chips and drinks, and finding a seat, the audience settled in to watch the show.

We Really Do Have Talent!

Interspersed with gameshow bits from popular shows like American Idol, Fear Factor, So You Think You Can Dance, and Last Comic Standing, this year we saw 10 impressive acts from LinkNow staff.

Brianna , Jillian, Brenda ,and Casey ,all put us to shame with their vocal skills, while Shcakia , used her voice to tell us about her experiences in the system. Jacob got us laughing with his stand-up routine, while Jenna , and Stephanie ,made us all wish we were so light on our feet with their dancing performance.

Adina, Derek, Ken and Bert showed off their acting skills with a skit, Andre impressed us all with his rap skills, and we were treated to an empowering drag performance by the glamorous Rubi Strange!

Who would have thought that the LinkNow Media staff was so entertaining, talented and fearless!

Up on the Auction Block

Every year we’ve been lucky to bring in a wide variety of enticing auction rewards and this year was no different. With t-shirts, spa visits, sets of pearl jewelry, personal training and original art, it was hard not to pull out your bidding paddles.

By the time the show was over, not an item was left, and bidders were excited to collect their new belongings.

A Star-Studded Night

LinkNow Media’s 5th annual talent show was a star-studded night, and not just because of the sparkling blazer our charismatic host was wearing. Performances exceeded expectations and the night flew by in a wave of cheers and laughs, and of course good times with friends and co-workers.

We may have been enjoying ourselves, but we kept in mind that Christmas time for a foster child isn’t fun. While other kids are looking forward to time with family, lots of food, and tons of presents to unwrap, none of this is guaranteed for a foster child. And, as the old naughty and nice saying goes, bad kids don’t get any gifts—imagine feeling like you’re a bad kid because you don’t have a family?

LinkNow Media hopes year after year to change this situation for as many kids as possible. In 2015, we were able to donate $10,000 and 250 gifts. In 2016, we raised $33,000 and donated 550 gifts.

Every year we aim higher, with our goal for 2017 being $40,000 and 650 gifts, all going directly to the Batshaw Centres. And—you can make a difference too. By checking out our New Secret Santa project and visiting our donation page you’ll have the opportunity to make a monetary donation, or get in touch with us to find out how you can purchase a present for a child in need.

There’s still time. Make your talent this holiday season the talent of charitable giving.

Extra Thanks

We couldn’t do what we do without the contributions from amazing businesses like these. This year we’d like to thank:

On top of that, big thanks go out to Jose Espaillat and Jason Mansfield our stage manager and technical director! And last but not least, Max Karpman for the incredible work he does for this show and fundraiser year after year.