Sorry single ladies, but the only passes the Ottawa Fury players will be making during the inaugural Fury for the Heart gala will be with soccer balls.
The soccer players are taking fan engagement to a whole new level with their attendance at the upcoming benefit in support of the Montfort Hospital Foundation. Not only will the 200 guests have an athlete or coach join them at their respective dinner tables, but they will participate together in a series of soccer drills to be held during the event.
This might be a good time to point out that the dress code is “soccer casual,” and that the gala is already sold out.
Fury team captain Lance Rozeboom, head coach Paul Dalglish and club president and OSEG partner John Pugh were all present early Wednesday morning at Montfort Hospital for the event kick off.
“We know that the community supports us at games, and that they come out and they watch us,” Rozeboom told OBJ.social. “Without them, we wouldn’t even have a team. So, it’s really important for us ... to be able to go into the community and do these kind of events and to show people that we really care about Ottawa.”
The gala, presented by TD, is taking place Sunday afternoon, on June 25, at Stonefields, a charming outdoor event destination located near Carleton Place. Donated auction items include a Canadian men’s national soccer team jersey, signed by all the players, and a golf date at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club with Dalglish and Bruce Grobbelaar, the team’s goalkeeper coach. He’s going to be at the gala. So is assistant coach Julian de Guzman, one of the most decorated male players in Canada’s soccer history.
The organizing committee is led by well-respected Ottawa dentist Nalin Bhargava. He's the mastermind behind such successful galas as the Maharaja’s Ball and Tiki Beach Gala and has helped raise more than $1 million for charity.
“Nalin is an Ottawa community builder par excellence who happens to be our team dentist,” said Pugh in his remarks. “But, he does have a knack for bringing people together to support worthy causes. When he came forward with the Fury for the Heart project, we were delighted to sign up.”
Money raised from the gala will go toward the hospital's $2.5 million-fundraising campaign, chaired by well-known Ottawa lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, to help the hospital purchase a CT scanner with a specialized cardiac module. The Montfort will be the first hospital in the region to acquire this advanced technology.
The room heard how the Montfort Hospital Foundation, led by Christine Sigouin, was successfully chosen by Stonefields for its annual free charity event giveaway.
Attendees included Dr. Bernard Leduc, president and CEO of the Montfort Hospital, as well as Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau and Ottawa Paramedic Chief Anthony Di Monte, both of whom are on the hospital foundation board. As well, Scotiabank vice-president Frank Bilodeau, who’s part of the hospital’s For You, Sweet Heart fundraising campaign cabinet, and Janice Barresi, community relations manager at TD, were out to show their support.
Sparky seemed pleased to have a fellow mascot friend, from Gabriel Pizza, to keep him company. They were seen kicking the soccer ball around together.