Fundraising Fun – (2015) Harvest of Hope Banquet and Auction raises over $20,000 for the Caldwell Family Centre
The Caldwell Family Centre (CFC) held their third Annual Harvest of Hope Banquet and Auction on Monday, October 5, 2015 at the Chances R restaurant in College Square, Woodroffe Avenue.
What a great venue it was, beautifully decorated for the occasion with pumpkins and fall colours. Arriving guests were greeted by smiling volunteers from the Ottawa Police Service Auxiliary Unit and guided into the covered patio for pre-dinner drinks and a chance to view the silent auction items. There were over 125 items on offer, including restaurant gift certificates, work by local artisans, beauty and spa services, and fitness memberships, all donated by Ottawa businesses and residents. Bid sheets filled up quickly and the mood was enthusiastic as guests mixed and mingled. Keen observers may have spotted some familiar faces in the crowd, including Ottawa City Councillors, federal election candidates and other local celebrities.
The friendly staff from Chances R ushered guests indoors to tables graced with candles and pumpkins, and served up a wonderful dinner of steak, chicken and a bounty of fall vegetables. The apple crumble deserves a special mention!
Emcee for the evening was long-time CFC supporter and former board member Jean Meldrum. She introduced Riley Brockington, councillor for River Ward, who talked warmly of “coming together” on this special evening to raise funds for such an important cause. Steve Clay from Ottawa Community Housing then gave a brief snapshot of the partnership with CFC and emphasized how much support is required by residents in the community.
David Walsh, executive director of CFC thanked the organizing committee, the sponsors, the community partners, and all the volunteers who contributed to making the evening a success. Barry O’Gorman, representing the Knights of Columbus, presented a cheque for $500 to David Walsh. Yolaine Munter, chair of the board then said a few words about the Caldwell Family Centre, acknowledging the legacy of the sisters who founded the centre, and noting that the need for funds has never diminished. She emphasized the importance of Investing in children, and shared the successes of summer camp, after-school and scholarship programs.
Guest auctioneer for the live auction was CBC News host Adrian Harewood. News may be his business, but this night he was entertainer, sports aficionado and fundraiser extraordinaire. An Ottawa native, he found himself back in his old stomping ground, raising a few smiles of recognition as he recounted hanging out in the old Shoppers City West mall. He dedicated the evening to Grace Lee Boggs, an Asian American activist who died that day, aged 100— a fitting tribute for a woman who had spent her life helping and empowering marginalized communities. Auctioneer Adrian had a laid-back style, coaxing and cajoling bids, and relentlessly negotiating that extra $5 from the last bidders for each item. At the end of the official list, which included NHL hockey tickets, lunches with local politicians, art work and a smart TV, he encouraged further donations to support the Christmas food basket program, raising an additional $4,000
It was a great night of fun and food, with all proceeds going to support various activities that the CFC offers for children, youth and seniors in its community, and to the emergency food program, one of the busiest food banks in the city, which helps to feed 1700 people each month.
Adishesha Yoga School, Agave, Antoine L Collins, Barley Mow, Beds for Tails Country Kennels, Ballon It, Betty Leicht, Bridgehead Coffee, Canal Ritz, Casino Lac Leamy, Chances R, Charlotte Gray, Cliff Scott, Critters Jungle, Cut & Colour, Dan McCurdy Automotive, Dovercourt Rec. Centre, Dow Honda, Dream Weaver, Elwood Enns, Farmers Pick, Monique Frechette, Friends of Caldwell, Great Canadian Bungee Co, Green Thumb, Greta Hale & Gay Cooke, Haunted Walks & Darcy McGee Pub, Henderson Furniture, Home Depot (South Keys), House of Lasagna, Hummingbird Spa (Merivale), Jericho Restaurant (Bank St), Jerome Photography, Kitchenalia, Le Brun Service Centre, Let’s Dance, Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, Macies Hotel, Merivale Bowling Lanes, Midway Family Fun Park, Molly Maid, Monique MacDonald, Monkey Around Play & Learn Centre, Vicky Martins, Museum of History, Museum of War, National Arts Centre, Oil Changers, Orpheus Musical Theatre, Ottawa Police Association, Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana, Pflug Optical, Pizza Pizza, Precision Styling, Richmond Beauty Salon, Ron Elmer, Saunders Farm, Sheila Fleury, Shoppers Drug Mart (Westgate), Spahara, St. Elizabeth Auxiliary, Staples, Tavola, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, The Source (Carlingwood), The Village Café, Three Wild Women, Tulips & Maple, Valleyview Little Animal Farm, Vorlage, Walkley Bowling Centre, Whispers Pub, Whole Foods, WoolTyme.