Gold Plate Dinner hauls in more than $500K for Heart Institute, Hellenic Community, Lymphedema

Popular elimination draw results in Bells Corners businessman Jim Sourges winning a brand new luxury car

OBJ.Social is supported by the generous patronage of Mark Motors, Bruyère Foundation, Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties, the Shaw Centre and Sparks Dental. Read their stories here.

For the first time in more than a decade, the elimination draw at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner was whittled down to just one winner, Jim Sourges, owner of The Electrical and Plumbing Store in Ottawa.

He quietly watched as everyone around him had their numbers pulled from the lottery drum, resulting in their banishment from the stage at the Hellenic Meeting and Reception Centre. At any time, the players could have unanimously decided to stop and split the $30,000 cash prize. But, if there's even one risk taker in the bunch who wants to push their luck, then the draw continues.

The 20 contestants soon became only a handful, and then reduced further to two: Sourges and Bruce Walker, vice president of sales at the Ottawa Athletic Club.

And then it was just Sourges. As the winner, he could choose between the cash or a new Mercedes donated by Jeff Mierins of Star Motors. He chose the car.

GPD
There was tension in the air as Bruce Walker, left, dinner co-host Angie Poirier, and Jim Sourges wait to hear which one of them is the winner in the elimination draw at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
Jim Sourges, right, reacts with surprise after being the last man standing at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner, allowing him to win either a $30,000 cash prize or a new Mercedes. Photo by Caroline Phillips

“The event was just a fantastic night and I’m really grateful to the Hellenic Community,” Sourges later told OBJ.social.

This year, organizers brought back the Gold Ticket Draw, which involved selling 60 tickets for the chance to win a $10,000 cash prize. It was won by Curt Millar, chief financial officer for InterRent REIT.

Both Sourges and Millar have said they will be donating a portion of their winnings back to Gold Plate Dinner.

The evening grossed more than $500,000 — the highest amount ever raised at the dinner. That sum also brings the long-running event's cumulative total to well over $3 million. There were at least 40 business sponsors, with the top sponsor being Dymon Storage. Its president, Brent Wilson, made a fleeting appearance on stage as one of the contestants of the elimination draw. 

For the past three years, the Gold Plate Dinner has been organized under the leadership of prominent Ottawa businessmen Nick Pantieras and Aik Aliferis, senior managing directors with sponsor Marcus & Millichap real estate brokerage. They are spearheading the Canadian expansion of the company's Institutional Property Advisors (IPA) brand in Canada. They work in collaboration with another IPA team of three located in Western Canada, as well as 45 other IPA brokers across the U.S. 

Their boss, Greek-American business tycoon George Marcus, wasn't there but he made a personal donation of $30,000 to the cause that night.

GPD
From left, Aik Aliferis and Nick Pantieras, from commercial real estate firm Marcus & Millichap, were back to co-chair the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner at the Hellenic Meeting and Reception Centre on Thursday, May 30, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
From left, Dymon president Brent Wilson with vice presidents Alan Giller and Tim Smith, and senior vice president Steve Creighton at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner at the Hellenic Meeting and Reception Centre on Thursday, May 30, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
Maria Bassi, who went up on stage on behalf of a friend, took it well after being eliminated from the draw for $30,000 or a new car, at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
GPD
Winner of the best reaction of the night went to Nick Sala, a guest of Preston Hardware, after he got eliminated from the draw for $30,000 or a new car, at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
Curt Millar from InterRent REIT won the draw for $10,000 at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips

This year’s beneficiaries were: the Hellenic Community’s cultural and language programs, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and the Lymphedema Association of Ontario — in honour of the co-chairs’ business partner, Luigi Caparelli, who passed away last November at age 58. He had developed lymphedema as a result of his years of treatment for his cancer. Both his son, Rob and Michael, attended the dinner.

Pantieras and Aliferis took over as leaders of the Gold Plate Dinner from District Realty president Steve Ramphos, who scored an honorary title after having done the volunteer job for three decades.

Organizers also include Bill Kontogiannis and Tom Varvaresos from Sysco-Tannis and Gowling WLG partner Wayne Kerrick. Credit goes to executive producer Steve Klein and his team from Marketing Breakthroughs for putting on a gala that’s slick, stylish and exciting.

There were countless business leaders in the crowd, from Barbara Farber, chair of the Heart Institute Foundation board, to Minto Group and OSEG executive chairman Roger Greenberg, to Ian Sherman, who, as tax practice leader at EY, kept a watchful eye over the elimination draws. As well, the Hellenic Community's spiritual leader, Father Alex Michalopulos, was there.

GPD
Gold Plate Dinner honorary chair Steve Ramphos with Leikin Group president Barbara Farber, chair of the board for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation, at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
Marketing Breakthroughs CEO Steve Klein, centre, is flanked by Gold Plate Dinner committee members Bill Kontogiannis, left, and Tom Varvaresos, from Sysco Tannis Food Distributors, at this year's gala dinner, held Thursday, May 30, 2019, at the Hellenic Meeting and Reception Centre. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
Gold Plate Dinner committee member Wayne Kerrick, a partner at Gowling WLG, with his wife, Jenny, at this year's gala dinner, held Thursday, May 30, 2019, at the Hellenic Meeting and Reception Centre. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
From left, Roger Greenberg, executive chairman of OSEG and Minto Group, was hosted at this year's Gold Plate Dinner by HGT Sports Services president Peter Hudson, who's also seen with 2018 Forty Under 40 recipient Scott MacKay and Jeff Mierins, owner of Star Motors of Ottawa. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
GPD
From left, Allison Lahey from The Properties Group with Angela Singhal from Richcraft, Melissa Kruyne, owner at KOTT Group, Monica Singhal, also with Richcraft, and Elizabeth Lahey, with The Properties Group, at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips 

The evening began with a cocktail reception held under a magnificent party tent that was decked out with lounge areas, fancy chandeliers and beautiful lighting effects. There was live music from Ottawa jazz group quartet Safe Low Limit.

Next, the business-networking crowd of more than 550 people headed into the banquet room for dinner and the much-anticipated draws. The chance to fly with three friends to Las Vegas for a Nascar experience was auctioned off by radio personalities Jeff Hopper, from Ottawa’s New Country 94, and Angie Poirier, from Majic 100.

The after-party was held back in the tent, with giant screens set up for watching the Toronto Raptors’ NBA Finals game-one win against the Golden State Warriors. There was also DJed music and a singing performance by Chrissy Spratt.

GPD
Guests could catch the Raptors' game during the after-party at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
Ian Sherman from EY with attendee Arlie Koyman at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner held at the Hellenic Meeting and Reception Centre on Thursday, May 30, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
From left, Carrie Love, executive assistant to the head of cardiology at the Heart Institute, with Paulina Ramphos and Jason Shinder, CEO of District Realty, at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
From left, Brazeau Seller partner Fred Seller with GGFL Chartered Professional Accountants partner Deborah Bourchier, GGFL managing partner Josh Engel, Brazeau Seller partner Harold Feder and Brazeau Seller partner Trina Fraser at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips​​
GPD
From left, Lawrence Soloway, counsel at Soloway Wright LLP, Emond Harnden LLP partner Jacques Emond and Sam Firestone, of Marcus & Millichap and Primecorp Property Mangement, are long-time supporters of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, which was one of the beneficiaries of the Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips  
GPD
From left, Tony Vanikiotis, David Guardado with Cole Funeral Services, Father Alex Michalopulos and Nicholas Lafkas, former president of the Hellenic Community of Ottawa, at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
Stephen Greenberg, president of Osgoode Properties, with Michael Polowin, partner at Gowling WLG, at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GMP
Radio hosts Jeff Hopper and Angie Poirier co-hosted the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
From left, Andreas Mrak from the Maserati Ottawa dealership, with clients Shawn French, director of engineering at Shopify, and his wife, Lyndsay, who's expecting their first child this summer, at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
From left, sales manager Ann Freel from Cartier Place Suite Hotel with its general manager, Heidi Webster, at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
Ottawa lawyer Danny Fernandes with his guests, Dan Renaud, Rocco Crea, Anthony Minchella and Nick Kyte at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner
GPD
From left, Rob Caparelli with Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner co-chairs Aik Aliferis and Nick Pantieras. Photo by Caroline Phillips
GPD
DJ iLon with singer Chrissy Spratt at the 2019 Hellenic Gold Plate Dinner. Photo by Caroline Phillips

— caroline@obj.ca