Art scavenger hunt lights the night for charity during Nuit Blanche

News Sep 27, 2012 by Erin Hatfield Parkdale Villager

Three family doctors and a finance guy are encouraging people to participate in an art-inspired scavenger hunt to raise awareness and funds for charities helping youth.

The third annual TO Light the Night is an interactive hunt held during Nuit Blanche, and organizers say it turns Toronto into a playground while giving participants a chance to discover and give back to their community.

The team behind TO Light the Night is Jameel Somji, a 33-year-old Beaconsfield resident who spends his days working in the finance industry, 31-year-old twin sisters and family doctors Nasreen and Noor Ramji, from Trinity Bellwoods, and their fellow family doctor Sheila Lakhoo, who lives in the College and Bay streets area.

“We are all art lovers and we believe that art can stir the soul and move people to do good things,” Somji said.

And that is the idea behind TO Light the Night: to engage people with the art happening around the city and hopefully inspire them to do more for their community – whether by making monetary donations, volunteering or offering them a service, they said.

“If something is happening and it is not relevant to someone or they can’t connect with (it), they need some sort of intermediary to help them try to connect with the cause or experience something extraordinary so that they feel inspired to do something,” Somji said. “That is where we come in. We balance a fun activity with a cause.”

The hunt isn’t an official Nuit Blanche event, rather it piggybacks on the event as a means to raise funds and engage a younger donor or fundraiser.

“It is almost like a guided tour of Nuit Blanche,” Ramji said. “Our clues are developed to give you a chance to look at the art and then experience it.”

Young Toronto residents may not always have the income to support charities, but what they do have is time and interest, they said.

“We thought why don’t we mix the two together and give young people an opportunity to see what is going on in our community (and) identify some of the local groups and charities doing some amazing work to improve the quality of the city,” said Nasreen Ramji.

The beneficiaries this year are SKETCH, a west-end arts organization for street-involved and homeless people 15 to 29; Jessie’s, formerly The June Callwood Centre for Young Women; and Covenant House, Canada’s largest youth shelter.

Deciding on the beneficiaries is a rigorous process, Ramji said adding they do extensive research before deciding which organization to support.

This year they decided it was important to support organizations that help youth.

“When we choose to support youth, we are looking to support people like ourselves,” Somji said. “We may not be in the same social or economic situation, but everyone has their issues and their daily struggles they have to deal with and these organizations support youth and inspire them to do better things.”

They said all three organizations recognize the potential in youth and encourage them the achieve their potentials.

The hunt begins at 7 p.m. at the TO Light The Night Headquarters at the ING DIRECT Downtown Cafe, 221 Yonge St. People are asked to pay what they can with a minimum of a $10 donation.

Each team has to have a minimum of two people with a maximum of four. Participants get a clue card with 35 to 40 clues. The questions direct the participants so there is no fear of getting lost, they said.

Each clue must be answered using Twitter (@TOLightTheNight) with a photo of the team interacting with the art. People are encourage to submit their completed clues to the Hunt headquarters by midnight to win prizes. Bonus clues will be tweeted out by TO Light the Night throughout the evening.

Organizers estimate it will take two to three hours to complete the hunt.

Anyone interested in participating or for more information can visit http://tolightthenight.com

Art scavenger hunt lights the night for charity during Nuit Blanche

News Sep 27, 2012 by Erin Hatfield Parkdale Villager

Three family doctors and a finance guy are encouraging people to participate in an art-inspired scavenger hunt to raise awareness and funds for charities helping youth.

The third annual TO Light the Night is an interactive hunt held during Nuit Blanche, and organizers say it turns Toronto into a playground while giving participants a chance to discover and give back to their community.

The team behind TO Light the Night is Jameel Somji, a 33-year-old Beaconsfield resident who spends his days working in the finance industry, 31-year-old twin sisters and family doctors Nasreen and Noor Ramji, from Trinity Bellwoods, and their fellow family doctor Sheila Lakhoo, who lives in the College and Bay streets area.

“We are all art lovers and we believe that art can stir the soul and move people to do good things,” Somji said.

And that is the idea behind TO Light the Night: to engage people with the art happening around the city and hopefully inspire them to do more for their community – whether by making monetary donations, volunteering or offering them a service, they said.

“If something is happening and it is not relevant to someone or they can’t connect with (it), they need some sort of intermediary to help them try to connect with the cause or experience something extraordinary so that they feel inspired to do something,” Somji said. “That is where we come in. We balance a fun activity with a cause.”

The hunt isn’t an official Nuit Blanche event, rather it piggybacks on the event as a means to raise funds and engage a younger donor or fundraiser.

“It is almost like a guided tour of Nuit Blanche,” Ramji said. “Our clues are developed to give you a chance to look at the art and then experience it.”

Young Toronto residents may not always have the income to support charities, but what they do have is time and interest, they said.

“We thought why don’t we mix the two together and give young people an opportunity to see what is going on in our community (and) identify some of the local groups and charities doing some amazing work to improve the quality of the city,” said Nasreen Ramji.

The beneficiaries this year are SKETCH, a west-end arts organization for street-involved and homeless people 15 to 29; Jessie’s, formerly The June Callwood Centre for Young Women; and Covenant House, Canada’s largest youth shelter.

Deciding on the beneficiaries is a rigorous process, Ramji said adding they do extensive research before deciding which organization to support.

This year they decided it was important to support organizations that help youth.

“When we choose to support youth, we are looking to support people like ourselves,” Somji said. “We may not be in the same social or economic situation, but everyone has their issues and their daily struggles they have to deal with and these organizations support youth and inspire them to do better things.”

They said all three organizations recognize the potential in youth and encourage them the achieve their potentials.

The hunt begins at 7 p.m. at the TO Light The Night Headquarters at the ING DIRECT Downtown Cafe, 221 Yonge St. People are asked to pay what they can with a minimum of a $10 donation.

Each team has to have a minimum of two people with a maximum of four. Participants get a clue card with 35 to 40 clues. The questions direct the participants so there is no fear of getting lost, they said.

Each clue must be answered using Twitter (@TOLightTheNight) with a photo of the team interacting with the art. People are encourage to submit their completed clues to the Hunt headquarters by midnight to win prizes. Bonus clues will be tweeted out by TO Light the Night throughout the evening.

Organizers estimate it will take two to three hours to complete the hunt.

Anyone interested in participating or for more information can visit http://tolightthenight.com

Art scavenger hunt lights the night for charity during Nuit Blanche

News Sep 27, 2012 by Erin Hatfield Parkdale Villager

Three family doctors and a finance guy are encouraging people to participate in an art-inspired scavenger hunt to raise awareness and funds for charities helping youth.

The third annual TO Light the Night is an interactive hunt held during Nuit Blanche, and organizers say it turns Toronto into a playground while giving participants a chance to discover and give back to their community.

The team behind TO Light the Night is Jameel Somji, a 33-year-old Beaconsfield resident who spends his days working in the finance industry, 31-year-old twin sisters and family doctors Nasreen and Noor Ramji, from Trinity Bellwoods, and their fellow family doctor Sheila Lakhoo, who lives in the College and Bay streets area.

“We are all art lovers and we believe that art can stir the soul and move people to do good things,” Somji said.

And that is the idea behind TO Light the Night: to engage people with the art happening around the city and hopefully inspire them to do more for their community – whether by making monetary donations, volunteering or offering them a service, they said.

“If something is happening and it is not relevant to someone or they can’t connect with (it), they need some sort of intermediary to help them try to connect with the cause or experience something extraordinary so that they feel inspired to do something,” Somji said. “That is where we come in. We balance a fun activity with a cause.”

The hunt isn’t an official Nuit Blanche event, rather it piggybacks on the event as a means to raise funds and engage a younger donor or fundraiser.

“It is almost like a guided tour of Nuit Blanche,” Ramji said. “Our clues are developed to give you a chance to look at the art and then experience it.”

Young Toronto residents may not always have the income to support charities, but what they do have is time and interest, they said.

“We thought why don’t we mix the two together and give young people an opportunity to see what is going on in our community (and) identify some of the local groups and charities doing some amazing work to improve the quality of the city,” said Nasreen Ramji.

The beneficiaries this year are SKETCH, a west-end arts organization for street-involved and homeless people 15 to 29; Jessie’s, formerly The June Callwood Centre for Young Women; and Covenant House, Canada’s largest youth shelter.

Deciding on the beneficiaries is a rigorous process, Ramji said adding they do extensive research before deciding which organization to support.

This year they decided it was important to support organizations that help youth.

“When we choose to support youth, we are looking to support people like ourselves,” Somji said. “We may not be in the same social or economic situation, but everyone has their issues and their daily struggles they have to deal with and these organizations support youth and inspire them to do better things.”

They said all three organizations recognize the potential in youth and encourage them the achieve their potentials.

The hunt begins at 7 p.m. at the TO Light The Night Headquarters at the ING DIRECT Downtown Cafe, 221 Yonge St. People are asked to pay what they can with a minimum of a $10 donation.

Each team has to have a minimum of two people with a maximum of four. Participants get a clue card with 35 to 40 clues. The questions direct the participants so there is no fear of getting lost, they said.

Each clue must be answered using Twitter (@TOLightTheNight) with a photo of the team interacting with the art. People are encourage to submit their completed clues to the Hunt headquarters by midnight to win prizes. Bonus clues will be tweeted out by TO Light the Night throughout the evening.

Organizers estimate it will take two to three hours to complete the hunt.

Anyone interested in participating or for more information can visit http://tolightthenight.com