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 for families and friends. They raised $15,000. The next year they filled the hall and raised about $18,000. For their third year, the committee decided to direct whatever they could raise towards establishing a CanSupport patient support service at the MGH. 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 year fundraiser brought in an over-the-top $100,000! The Friends for the Cure are a close-knit circle of friends, all tied together through Tina and Dominic Lamanuzzi.
Fast forward 2016, the event, held at le Madison in Saint Leonard, was attended by 1025 patrons raising over $325,000. To date Friends for the Cure have raised approximately $2.9 M.
Those who benefit greatly from the evening's financial success are the patients of McGill University Health Center.