In 1999, Montreal General Hospital operating room nurse Tina Lamanuzzi wanted to hold a fundraiser in aid of the MGH. She enlisted the support of her husband and friends and held the first Valentine's Day gala at a neighbourhood hall. They raised $15,000. The next year, they filled the hall and raised about $18,000. For its third year, the committee decided to direct whatever it could raise towards establishing a patient support service at the hospital. Forever optimistic, Tina Lamanuzzi was shooting for a "pie-in-the sky" $50,000, while most of her fellow committee members were aiming for a more realistic goal of $25,000. They were both wrong! By now, future committee member Frank Rana had caught the bug. He picked up his phone to reach his many contacts. He was unaware of the others' expectations and he went out and alone raised over $85,000 in corporate funding. With his contributions, the third annual fundraiser brought in an over-the-top $100,000! The “Friends for the Cure” is a close-knit circle of friends brought together by Tina and Dominic Lamanuzzi.
Fast forward to 2017, the event, held at Montreal’s Le Madison reception hall, was attended by over 900 people raising $330,000. To date, “Friends for the Cure” has raised approximately $3.5 M.
Proceeds from the evening, as well as other corporate donations, are forwarded to the hospital’s Peri-Operative Program, also known as POP, which provides crucial cancer care, as well as the Cedars CanSupport Foundation, part of the city’s McGill University Health Center.