Leaside Fundraiser a Smokin' Success!

On October 20, more than two hundred guests ate, drank, danced and mingled at Amsterdam Brewery in support of New Circles at the Leaside Smokedown.

The sold-out event – brainchild of Grilltime Gourmet Meat Shop owner Andy Elder – featured local food, beer and entertainment for a charitable cause. Guests danced to classic favourites by Fergus Hambleton & Friends, enjoyed Andy’s melt-in-your-mouth smoked ribs and homemade mac and cheese, and imbibed local brews from Amsterdam and Peller Estates.

The night also included silent and live auctions, with prizes like Amsterdam Brewmaster for a Day, private cooking lessons with Andy, and family passes to Devil’s Glen ski club, as well as lots of fantastic items from local Leaside businesses.

All in all, the Smokedown raised $22,000 that will go toward New Circles’ programs.

 “We were thrilled with the response from the community,” said New Circles’ Development Manager, Diana Gibbs. “The funds raised will make a huge difference in helping us welcome and support newcomer families and others in need across the city. The Smokedown was a great opportunity to bring people together, and we are so grateful to everyone who helped make it a success.”

We’d like to extend a huge thank-you to event sponsors Likrilyn Capital Corporation, Patrick Rocca, Interior Care, Lexus on the Park, Peller Estates, Ivy Glen Homes and Cobbs Bakery, as well as the silent auction donors, event volunteers, and of course, everyone who came out to celebrate and support New Circles.

Special thanks to event organizers Andy Elder of Grilltime Gourmet Meat Shop, Michael Vuong of Amsterdam Brewing Co., and Diana Gibbs, silent auction coordinators Darlene Gunness and Jo-Anne LaForty, emcee Ashley Botting, event photographer Peter Visima, Jon Burnside for use of his smoker, and last but not least, Janet Kestin, who donated her 50/50 draw winnings to the cause!

Click here to check out photos from the event on Facebook!


New Circles' GLOW clothing service is the largest clothing bank in Toronto. We help 12,000 people of all ages annually.