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About Rich Man Poor Man

The Rich Man Poor Man dinner event is a unique event that brings together students, faculty, global health advocates, physicians, and community members with the primary objective of bringing to light the disparity that exists in access to stable and nutritious sources of food, clean water, and timely healthcare. The second main objective of this event is to raise funds for local and global health initiatives. Over the last nine years, the Rich Man Poor Man dinner has raised over $160,000 and has hosted an average of 200 guests per year. Over the years, the Rich Man Poor Man dinner has become a well-respected event in the medical community that attracts high profile speakers, musicians and attendees.

In addition to raising awareness regarding current global health issues, the Rich Man Poor Man dinner will raise funds for one local not-for-profit initiative, one international not-for-profit initiative, and the Student Run Clinic (SRC), which is a local student-led non-profit organization that serves homeless and marginalized populations in Calgary.

Selection of the not-for-profit organizations benefitting from this event will occur through an open call for applications, and will be conducted by members of the Global and Public Health Interest Group at the University of Calgary. This year profits will be shared locally with Street CCRED and internationally with the Kigezi Health Care Foundation (KIHEFO) in Kabale, Uganda.

In order to coordinate this advocacy event, a team of medical students will be involved in encouraging participation from the local community, helping to collect donated items for the silent auction, and facilitating a successful evening. Overall, the goal of the event is to host 100 guests and raise as much as possible for the selected not-for-profit projects. Moreover, the dinner event will encourage students and guests from the community to continue to participate in advocacy and encourage action in local and global health issues.

The Rich Man, Poor Man Dinner & Silent Auction at the University of Calgary began in 2009, with the first annual Rich Man, Poor Man (RMPM) raising over $13,000 for the Student Run Clinic (SRC) at the Drop In Centre. From its humble beginnings of only 8 volunteers, we have rapidly risen to dozens. Funds raised from the initial dinner were used to support volunteer training, to improve and expand the clinic, and to purchase medical equipment.

The 2010 RMPM Gala surpassed expectations, raising $23,000 for Partners In Health (PIH), a Boston-based non-profit organization which operates 49 health centres in 11 underdeveloped countries. The funding covered the start-up costs of a rural clinic in Haiti around the time of the earthquake on January 12, 2010.

The 2011 RMPM raised over $20,000 in support of the SRC and the Global Generation Foundation (GGF), which supports family medicine clinics in areas where primary care is needed.

The 2012 RMPM also raised over $20,000 in support of the SRC and the Southern Sudan Healthcare Accessibility, Rehabilitation and Education (SSHARE) project, which provides continuing education to Cuban-trained Sudanese doctors who return to Sudan to serve as doctors.

The 2013 RMPM raised over $18,000 in support of the SRC, L’Arche and Helping Babies Breath.  In L’Arche, people who have developmental disabilities and those who come to assist, share life and daytime activities together in family-like settings that are integrated into local neighbourhoods.  Helping Babies Breath  is an evidence-based educational program to teach neonatal resuscitation techniques in resource-limited areas.

The 2014 RMPM raised over $20,000 in support of the SRC, the Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS), and the Flying Doctors of Canada (FDOC). Through integrated health care, housing and education services, CUPS empowers people to overcome the challenges of poverty and reach their full potential. CUPS helps over 7,000 low-income Calgarians annually in their efforts to break the cycle of poverty and build healthier lives and communities. FDOC is devoted to provide sustainable health improvements. Through extensive research into the barriers to health in each and every target community, and through cooperation with community leaders, FDOC strives to provide appropriate and sustainable solutions to local and persistent problems.

The 2015 RMPM raised over $28,000 in support of the SRC, the Global Familymed Foundation and Alpha House.  The Global Familymed Foundation supports family medicine training in places where healthcare access is limited while Alpha House works with individuals whose lives have been impacted by addiction.

The 2016 RMPM raised over $21,000 in support of the SRC, the Northern Lights Health Foundation and Kolabo.  The Northern Lights Health Foundation serves to engage people, inspire philanthropy and secure funds to improve health and promote wellness in the Wood Buffalo region while Kolabo improve the mental health of the patient population served by the CUHAS healthcare professionals in Tanzania and build a healthier community.

Event History

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