Black Tie Bingo raises $70K to improve quality of life for people in palliative care, elderly

Sold-out crowd of 350 don tuxedos, gowns to play popular pastime game

You could feel the excitement and tension in the room as players waited in anticipation for the next number to be called, their daubers poised in midair over their cards.

Somebody was going to win a trip for two, worth nearly $14,000, to a five-star beach resort in Barbados, donated by the Crane Resort and Dan Saikaley from CIBC Private Wealth Management.

The gala evening was Black Tie Bingo. It's an annual fundraiser, started in 2014, to improve the quality of life of residents in long-term care and for individuals who need palliative care.

It drew a sold-out crowd of 350 to the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre on Saturday night and netted a record amount of $70,000 for its two charities: the Eldercare Foundation of Ottawa and the OutCare Foundation.

Black Tie Bingo
There was enthusiasm and excitement at the Augustine Bater Binks LLP table at the Black Tie Bingo gala for the OutCare Foundation and Eldercare Foundation of Ottawa, held at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre on Saturday, November 18, 2017. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Black Tie Bingo
Guests at the Borden Ladner Gervais LLP table donned tuxedos and formal wear for Black Tie Bingo, a successful gala evening held for the OutCare Foundation and the Eldercare Foundation of Ottawa. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Catherine Clark was back to emcee the evening. She was joined on stage by sponsors and supporters to help call out bingo numbers. Former senator Sharon Carstairs added some pizzaz with her rhyming bingo slang (clickety-click, sixty-six). The OBJ’s Carlo Lombard had his own rousing style ("Give me an Ooooo!"), while Ottawa South Liberal MPP John Fraser kept the room on its toes after confusing his bingo letters due to poor eyesight.

“I didn’t bring my readers,” he told the forgiving crowd.

Black Tie Bingo
John Fraser, Liberal MPP for Ottawa South, helped call out numbers at the Black Tie Bingo fundraiser that raised funds to improve the quality of life for residents in long-term care and for individuals who need palliative care. Photo by Caroline Phillips

There were seven prizes handed out, ranging from a weekend getaway at the Chateau Montebello to a $750-shopping spree at the St. Laurent Centre to a diamond and sapphire gold bracelet to a cash prize of $1,500.

Black Tie Bingo
Elizabeth Bourada and lawyer Patrick Murray, who were both seated at the CIBC Wood Gundy table sponsored by Timothy Orr, called Bingo at the same time but decided to split the $1,500-cash prize rather than trying to eliminate the other person. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The big trip to Barbados was won by a tuxedo-wearing Lawrence Grant, executive director of The Glebe Centre, a not-for-profit long-term-care home. He's attended Black Tie Bingo every year, to support the causes, but this was the first time he's won a prize.

On hand were Lisa Davey, executive director of the OutCare Foundation, and Adam Nihmey, founder and chair of the Eldercare Foundation of Ottawa.

Black Tie Bingo
From left, Catherine Clark, president of Catherine Clark Communications, with Adam Nihmey, founder and chair of the Eldercare Foundation of Ottawa, and Lisa Davey, executive director of the OutCare Foundation, at the fourth annual Black Tie Bingo gala held at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre on Saturday, November 18, 2017. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Black Tie Bingo
From left, Betty Hope Gittens with grand prize winners Lawrence Grant and Elizabeth Komar, along with prize sponsor Dan Saikaley from CIBC Private Wealth Management, at the Black Tie Bingo fundraiser for the Eldercare Foundation of Ottawa and the OutCare Foundation, held Saturday, November 18, 2017. Photo by Caroline Phillips

caroline@obj.ca