TD Place is about to become home to a new piece of art that celebrates our nation’s major milestone birthday and also has the distinction of having raised thousands of dollars to help children and youth living in our community with complex and special needs.
A giant Canadian Flag mixed media work was the subject of an exciting bidding war at the 20th annual “For the Kids” charitable auction. The fundraiser featured more than 200 auction items and drew 450 families, supporters and business sponsors to the Shaw Centre on Thursday to raise $117,000 for the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (OCTC) at CHEO.
The artwork, donated by Carleton Place visual artist Sarah Moffat, caught the eye of Mark Goudie, chief operating officer and CFO for OSEG (Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group), as well as J.F. Sabourin, owner of the environmental consulting firm J.F. Sabourin and Associates, and his wife, Kathy Kitagawa.
Goudie knew how great the piece would look at the Lansdowne Park stadium, not only during Canada’s 150th anniversary taking place this year but also during the 2017 Grey Cup in November. He refused to back down in the bidding process and won the art for $8,000, with some prodding from well-known Ottawa lawyer and charity auctioneer Lawrence Greenspon.
OSEG executive chairman and managing partner Roger Greenberg was the evening’s honorary chair. Greenberg, who’s also board chairman of diamond sponsor Minto, has been a steadfast supporter of the OCTC over the years. His son Jamie, 24, attended its school until he was eight years old.
Greenberg was joined at the dinner by his wife, Cindy Feingold, as well as OSEG chief executive Bernie Ashe, OSEG president Jeff Hunt, and Mike Cerha, vice-president of venue operations and entertainment for TD Place. Dinner guests included Paul Hindo, senior vice-president of business development for global real estate service firm JLL.
Mayor Jim Watson attended. So did Rideau-Vanier Ward city councillor Mathieu Fleury. He’s about to become very familiar with kids; he and his wife Lai Hoang are expecting their first baby this August.
The room listened to a pair of heart-warming stories from families about how the OCTC has been there for them, providing hope and confidence during their darkest hours, as told by Kelli Tonner and another parent, Justin Ferrabee.
Annually, more than 4,200 families receive services from the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre. Recently, it consolidated its resources with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in an effort to better serve the families.
“We worked together for a year and a half on that vision of one child, one door, one (patient's) story, one team,” CHEO president and CEO Alex Munter said at the podium. “And, we are working very hard now to realize the promise of coming together and being greater than the sum of our parts.”
Munter listed a number of improvements expected from the merger, from redesigning the intake process in order to make it simple and effective, to looking at how to ensure the diagnoses are fast and correct, to having one combined electronic health record for each child, with web portals for parents to access at home.
“We truly believe that we will be able to do a better job for the children and the families that depend on the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre,” said Munter. “But, in order to do that, we need your help and will continue to need your help to be able to deliver on that promise.”