The La Rose 35th Anniversary Gala was set to begin at 5:30 pm on September 17th, 2017, but the Terrace was full of excited guests well before that hour. They were no doubt lured by the delicious antipasto bar, and a silent auction full of high end goodies and getaways. But above all, the event was packed because of the support La Rose has garnered through-out its three-decades-long stretch as a small business owner in Milton.

The Gala is held every five years in support of the Milton District Hospital Foundation. The proceeds from this year’s fundraising will contribute to the purchase of medical equipment for the new hospital expansion. The Lizzi Family writes, “With your support, Milton District Hospital Foundation can assist the hospital in meeting the healthcare demands of our growing community.”

Cosimo and Maggie Lizzi are heads of the Lizzi clan, and children Maria, Emily, Sal and Domenic are all tied to the family business in some way. Daughter Maria Locker shared the story of how her family came to own one of the most popular bakery and grocery stores in Milton. The patriarch moved here from Toronto in 1982 and purchased a small bakery in the White Oaks Plaza in the years to follow. Since then, La Rose has grown in leaps and bounds, including two major expansions before its current incarnation. Cosmo Lizzi believes that a local business should contribute to its town, and notes their long history of support for the Milton Hospital. He explains, “We want to give back because the community has always supported us.”

Guest Grace Moores works on behalf of Maria Locker’s brain-child “Mompreneurs” – an organization that supports women in business. Moores was looking forward to the expansive silent auction, which included event tickets, restaurant gift certificates, spa treatments, getaways to Niagara-on-the-Lake and Europe, and gift baskets galore. Grace adds, “But I most look forward to catching up with people I haven’t seen in a long time – and I love an excuse to get dressed up!”

Mark and Zeena Appleby, owners of Matador Eyeworks, are thrilled to be supporting both MDHF, and La Rose (the bakery has always been generous towards their own charity events). The couple’s children Angelina and Dean inspired their parents to philanthropy with their own efforts in fundraising through good ol’ fashioned lemonade stands. Which part of the evening did they predict would be the highlight? “The dessert table of course!” – a component of the night which was painstakingly planned to wow attendees by Lizzi daughter Emily Spadafora.

Photographs by: Ann Kornuta

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