Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation fundraiser ends with a bang

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From left, journalist Julie Beun and cookbook author Janet Podleski at the 6th Annual Jeanne Fuller Red Dress Charity Golf Classic held Monday, September 10, 2012, at the Loch March Golf and Country Club in support of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. (Photo by Caroline Phillips)

OTTAWA — Need more “fireworks” in your life? You should have caught the 10th Anniversary Lumière Charity Gala held Wednesday at high-tech mogul Terry Matthews’ Brookstreet Hotel.

A large turnout of 530 partygoers showed up for a night of fabulicious food, intense auction bidding and a climatic fireworks display, all while helping to raise $74,000 for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s $8-million cancer research campaign.

Guests mingled in and around the ballroom, sampling cuisine prepared by executive chef Clifford Lyness and his team. Present were hotel GM Patrice Basille; Steve Spooner, CFO of top sponsor Mitel; and the unofficial gala chair, retired Mitel CEO Don Smith.

It was a noisy crowd for speeches but ORCF president Linda Eagen managed to voice her heartfelt thank you on behalf of cancer survivors receiving access to new therapies and on behalf of leading medical research scientists Barbara Vanderhyden and John Bell.

The hottest live auction item was a trip to Matthews’ five-star Celtic Manor Resort in Wales via Air Canada. It sold for $6,200 with help from auctioneer Stuntman Stu.

Cardel Homes regional president Greg Graham was there with his wife, cancer patient Suzanne, while Shaw Communications lobbyist Charles King, who’s been battling the insidious disease for his second time, was seen hanging with his counterpart at Telus, Michael Sangster.

Carol Devenny, the new Ottawa managing partner of PwC, and Michelle Bégin were sighted in identical designer dresses but they downgraded the potential fashion crisis to funny coincidence by complimenting each other on their great taste.

Little Theatre, big love

Beyond the doormen in tuxedos and top hats there awaited a champagne reception for hundreds of attendees of Ottawa Little Theatre’s 100th season kickoff, held Saturday at the King Edward Avenue building.

A sold-out crowd partied in the lobby before filing into the theatre for Noel Coward’s Hay Fever, directed by Tim Ginley.

Many theatregoers were seen in 1913 period costume at the reception. A musical quartet played while guests enjoyed champagne donated by Anna Kelly Janigan (one of her first dates with her future husband, the late Dan Janigan, was to an OLT play).

At the reception were Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Mathieu Fleury. Also seen were OLT board president John Mark Keyes and public servant Linda Webster, chair of the 10-person event organizing committee.

Maggie Morris Smolensky, a former CBC personality from the 1960s, made the trip up from her Toronto nursing home to attend. “It’s wonderfully exciting to be here,” said Morris Smolensky, who acted in community theatre at the OLT in the 1950s. Her daughter, retired NAC employee Jane Morris, sits on the OLT board and regularly performs on stage, as does Morris’ husband, retired IT consultant Bob Hicks.

Painting the town red

The authors of The Looneyspoons Collection have just inked a deal with an American publishing firm, meaning our neighbours to the south and beyond will soon be serving up such catchy-named dishes as Quiche Me, You Fool.

Janet Podleski was guest speaker at Monday’s dinner at the Loch March Golf and Country Club as part of the 6th Annual Jeanne Fuller Red Dress Classic, raising $94,000-plus for the Heart Institute.

Podleski and her sister, Greta, have four bestselling healthy-living cookbooks, star in their own TV show and are now working with U.S.-based Hay House Publishing. Not bad for two gals who followed their heart and risked everything for something they believed in.

Sighted was Jeanne Fuller from the well-known Thomas Fuller Construction family with her son, Loch March owner Mark Fuller. Also there was Julie Beun, editor of the Heart Institute Foundation’s inaugural Matters of the Heart magazine (gracing its cover is singer Measha Brueggergosman). The free publication is dedicated to raising issues about women’s heart health.

Marion Martell was back to chair the sold-out event with Mary Browne of Royal LePage’s Team Realty and Gale Real Estate. They modelled in a fashion show that featured a half-dozen red dresses donated by designer Joseph Ribkoff through Shepherd’s. The gowns were later auctioned off. In a surprising twist, Mark Fuller bought them all as gifts for the volunteer models.

The next generation

Around Town felt a pang of “parent envy” after meeting the well-dressed, -mannered and -spoken Sherman boys at the annual campaign kickoff for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa.

Jonathan, 22, Matthew, 20, and Adam, 18, were event kickoff chairs with their folks, Randi Sherman and Ian Sherman, a tax partner with Ernst & Young, at Centrepointe Theatre last Sunday.

The keynote speaker was award-winning author Daniel Gordis, but the Sherman brothers also took to the podium to promote the campaign’s new emerging generation division.

The brothers, who’ve been volunteering in the Jewish community since they were young “boychiks” are part of the next wave of leaders. “We can’t just rely on the older generations to always be there and be the ones that support the communities,” Jonathan, a law student at Osgoode Hall, told Around Town at the pre-event donor reception sponsored by TD.

The reception, held in the new studio, was catered with elegant flair by Creative Kosher’s David Smith. Dr. Michael Landau and Susan Viner-Vered are leading the campaign, which aims to raise $4.2 million in support of 22 agencies ranging from the Soloway JCC to Hillel Lodge to Jewish Family Services. Also seen were Charles Schachnow and Leiba Krantzberg (they’re next in line as campaign chairs), campaign manager Rony Podolsky and JFO chair Debbie Halton-Weiss.

All for the opera

It was nice to see the creative minds behind the “I’m Going to the Opera” ad campaign walk the walk Wednesday by taking in a performance of Opera Lyra’s La Bohème.

Staff of the McMillan advertising firm, including president Gordon McMillan, first gathered at their chic office in the ByWard Market for a pre-show reception. Guests included Opera Lyra’s general director Jeep Jeffries, who gave the buzz-generating campaign major credit for bumping up sales (the multimedia campaign saw some of Ottawa’s star power share their love of opera). “We’ve sold more tickets and made more money on ticket sales revenue than we anticipated by, probably by the time we’re done, four or five per cent,” said Jeffries.

Carolyn001@sympatico.ca

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