paul and lady dancing at BIAPH


BIAPH Holiday Dinner & Dance Blew Our Minds

by Taylor Shappert


The yearly fundraiser put on by the Brain Injury Association of Peel & Halton  (BIAPH) is not a time for brain injury survivors to gather and feel sorry for themselves. It is an event for brain injury survivors and their families to celebrate being here, no matter what their disabilities may be.


As a first-time attendee at the fundraiser, I was unsure of what to expect.

But after Jorun Rucels, BIAPH’s executive director,  greeted me warmly at the door of Mississauga’s Banquet Royale, what I found was a fun, classy event where brain injury survivors could connect and share their experiences.

or, they could just make small talk over the delicious chicken, beef, and vegetable dinner.

The bottle of red and white wine at each table and cash bar were a nice touch, too.


As my parents and I found our way to table #16, everyone seemed friendly, open, and relaxed.

It was hard not to be relaxed, with the colour scheme and decor; the dining table were draped with black tablecloths on top, and white slips underneath. Your eyes couldn’t help but be drawn to the silent auction tables, which were smartly dressed in wine-red and white.


Even better was what was on the silent auction tables: gift baskets, a GPS, Raptors tickets, e-readers, and more.

There was something for everyone.


The walls were hung with silky white drapes, adding elegance and coziness.

It was a perfect backdrop for the meal that came. The plates were stacked with a little bit of everything on the menu: A piece of chicken florentine (which was mouth watering), a slice of beef, and mixed veggies.

As delicious as it was, I was so stuffed that I was struggling to finish my plate.

I barely had room for dessert – square pastries that also came on plates full of variety.

After dinner, it was time for presents and door prizes. There were also 3 silent auction tables that closed at 9pm.

Until the silent auction tables were closed, there was a dancefloor and DJ playing tunes like YMCA that kept people busy.

One brave lady in a silvery sequined dress got the dancefloor started as soon as the music turned on, and soon people joined her. By the time the music turned off at midnight, the dancefloor had definitely gotten its use for the night.


As someone that sustained traumatic brain injury three years ago, it was great to be able to meet people that had gone through a similar experience.

That kinship and understanding is not something that any doctor can offer, no matter how experienced or well-intentioned they are.

That is what BIAPH is offering to brain injury survivors and their families: companionship, understanding, and a bit of guidance too.

That is priceless.

BIAPH serves the Peel-Halton area, and has their board meeting in Mississauga on the first Tuesday of every month.

For more information on BIAPH and their support group meetings or other services they offer, visit