The most important meal of the day turned out to be the most lucrative for the Montfort Hospital Foundation after a downtown restaurant and local lawyer teamed up to host a free community breakfast for charity on Tuesday.
The public was invited to come down with a buffet-style breakfast at Eggspectation and make a donation toward a $2.5-million fundraising campaign to buy a CT scanner with a specialized cardiac module, for the east-end hospital.
Not an early breakfast person? No problem. The five-hour fundraiser didn’t end until after lunch.
The breakfast brought in $15,000, which you might say eggs-ceeded expectations.
On the campaign cabinet is lawyer Daljit Nirman, who co-chaired the event with Vinod Chaudhary, owner of the Eggspectation eatery on Bank Street at Laurier Avenue.
“We are forever grateful for Mr. Nirman’s and Eggspectation’s initiative,” Montfort Hospital Foundation president and CEO Christine Sigouin told OBJ.social. "They’re such humble and generous members of the community, and for them it’s important to give back and get involved.”
Roughly 600 people from all sectors of the community and all walks of life took part. Helping to dish out the food was prominent lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, chair of the campaign, alongside his fellow volunteers, Dr. André Bilodeau and hospital board trustee François Brouard.
“It’s events like this that help us get to where we’re going,” he told OBJ.social.”It’s wonderful to see people coming out from the community, supporting the Montfort.
"It's also an exercise for people to learn a little bit more about what the Montfort Hospital is all about."
Greenspon first became familiar with the Montfort after a family-like friend decided to have her baby at its family birthing unit. As well, he paid regular visits to the Montfort's ICU to see ailing friend Mauril Bélanger, a popular Ottawa MP who died from ALS last year.
"It's been fascinating learning about the hospital and the people who are served in the community through the hospital," he said.
Spotted at the breakfast was federal finance critic and Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre, members of the Indo-Canada Ottawa Business Chamber, and Ottawa businessman Anand Aggarwal. He’s one of the founders of Dhadkan, a local philanthropic group of Indo-Canadians that has raised millions of dollars for the Heart Institute. South Asians in Canada are reportedly at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
The fundraising campaign, For You, Sweet Heart, is now in its final stages, with only a couple hundred thousand more dollars to go. The new scanner has been delivered to the Montfort Hospital and should be up and running within a few weeks, according to Sigouin.
The equipment, which is able to take a picture of a patient’s heart, will give patients a faster, more accurate diagnosis; a quick, non-invasive procedure with reduced doses of radiation; fewer visits to the hospital; and shorter wait times.
"We hope to be saving lives with this machinery," said Greenspon.