Malhotra family hosts charity party to grant more wishes to sick kids in Ottawa

Annual SHARE cocktail party at Andaz hotel nets $100K for Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish was on the receiving end of a dream come true, for a change, after being selected as the beneficiary of the 8th annual SHARE Party, hosted by the Malhotra Family Foundation.

The big bash took place Friday at the Andaz luxury boutique hotel in the ByWard Market, at the corner of Dalhousie and York streets. Some 300 partygoers packed the second floor for a celebratory night of socializing, snacking, drinking and dancing. 

On hand were the Malhotras, one of the most prominent real estate developer families in Ottawa. Not only do they own Claridge Homes, which builds homes and condos, but they’ve expanded into retirement residences and hotel development. Since their opening of Andaz two years ago, the hotel has become a hotspot destination with its scenic rooftop terrace.

Each spring, the family’s foundation hosts a golf tournament that brings in $250,000 for charity, followed by its autumn SHARE Party, which cuts a $100,000 cheque for another worthy cause.

Co-hosting the party were Louise Malhotra and her husband Shawn Malhotra, chief operating officer at Claridge, a 2018 Forty Under 40 recipient, and probably the most dapper man in the room, thanks to his purple velvety blazer and bow tie combo. The couple co-founded the charitable foundation.

A ceremonial cheque was presented to Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario CEO Tanya Desjardins by Shawn and Louise. Standing alongside them were his parents — Claridge Homes CEO and founder Bill Malhotra and Romina Malhotra — and his older brother Neil Malhotra, vice president at Claridge, along his wife, Ainsley Malhotra.

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Louise Malhotra with her husband Shawn Malhotra, and his parents, Romina Malhotra and Bill Malhotra, CEO and founder of Claridge Homes, at the SHARE Party hosted by the Malhotra Family Foundation at the Andaz boutique hotel in the ByWard Market on Friday, November 9, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Melissa Reeves, head of marketing and operations at Linebox Studio, with her husband, Andrew Reeves, senior architect and principal partner at Linebox, with Neil Malhotra and Ainsley Malhotra at the SHARE Party hosted by the Malhotra Family Foundation at the Andaz boutique hotel in the ByWard Market on Friday, November 9, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The Malhotras pooled together their network of friends and business contacts, resulting in 15 gold sponsors and another 14 platinum sponsors.

“From the bottom of our hearts we appreciate the generosity,” said Shawn, after some good-natured joking about how he coincided the timing of his request for sponsorship with the company’s tendering for contracts. “We’re humbled every year that this many people show up to our event.”

Guests included Minto executive chairman Roger Greenberg, who’s hoping for another Grey Cup parade through downtown Ottawa. He co-owns the Redblacks team, which will be in the championship if it wins this Sunday's Eastern Final at TD Place Stadium.

Tomlinson Group president Kevin Cinq-Mars and his wife, Sara, attended, as did hockey hero Daniel Alfredsson with his wife, Bibbi. Spotted from the ByWard Market business community were prominent restaurateur Peter Boole (Social, Sidedoor, e18hteen, The Clarendon, Jackson Café) and the always enterprising Andre Schad of Schad clothing boutique, seasonal patios Tavern on the Hill and Tavern on the Falls, and the just-opened Jasper restaurant on Beechwood Avenue.

Also spotted were architect Andrew Reeves and his wife Melissa Reeves, co-founders of Linebox Studio. It did the design on a privately funded, volunteer-driven community project led by Shawn to construct a new sports pad and field house in Rockcliffe. 

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From left, Kevin Cinq-Mars and his wife, Sara Cinq-Mars, from platinum sponsor Tomlinson Group, with Malhotra Family Foundation co-founders Louise Malhotra and Shawn Malhotra at the SHARE Party held at the Andaz Ottawa Byward Market on Friday, November 9, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Andre Schad and his daughter, Zsuzsika Schad, 16, with her close friend Anika Boole, also 16, who also attended with her dad, Peter Boole, at the Malhotra Family Foundation's SHARE Party held at the Andaz Ottawa Byward Market on Friday, November 9, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, lawyer Lawrence Weinstein, a director with Urbandale, and Minto executive chairman Roger Greenberg at the SHARE Party hosted by the Malhotra Family Foundation at the Andaz boutique hotel in the ByWard Market on Friday, November 9, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, lawyer Sandra Guttmann with her husband, Ottawa lawyer Danny Fernandes, who was a gold sponsor, and Brian Murray, director of leasing and business development with Sakto Corp., and his wife, Kristin Smith, a director with the Canadian Medical Association, at the SHARE Party hosted by the Malhotra Family Foundation. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Ottawa radiologist Adnan Hadziomerovic with Daniel Alfredsson, former captain of the Ottawa Senators, at the SHARE Party held Friday, November 9, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Funds raised from the SHARE Party allow Make-A-Wish to grant wishes to 10 more local children with life-threatening medical conditions. While trips are very popular — particularly to Disney — there are also requests for other things, like shopping sprees, fabulous bedroom makeovers, and stepping into someone else’s shoes — such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's — for the day. Anything's possible, except for the wish of unlimited wishes.

The $100,000 donation is exactly what Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario needed, Desjardins told OBJ.social. The demands have been growing faster than available funding, and the charity currently has 125 children on its waiting list.

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From left, Brian Boucher, general manager of platinum sponsor Euro Tile & Stone, with his wife, Marie-Paule, and Joseph Allaham with his fiancée, Mattia Colasanti, also with Euro Tile & Stone, at the SHARE Party hosted by the Malhotra Family Foundation at the Andaz boutique hotel in the ByWard Market on Friday, November 9, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Nicola Powadiuk, director of exhibitions at Canderel Group, with Emma Gilfillan, national account manager at Panasonic Professional AV, Engel & Völkers Ottawa Central sales representative Sarah Grand, and Melissa Bailey, owner of the new Toro Taqueria eatery on Slater Street, at the SHARE Party hosted by the Malhotra Family Foundation. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Sean Desjardins with his wife, Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario CEO Tanya Desjardins and Sarah Gore with her husband David Henry, a law partner at BLG and a board member with Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario, at the SHARE Party. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Desjardins had applied for a grant from the Malhotra Family Foundation and was subsequently contacted by Louise, a mother of four, with an even better offer: to be the recipient of funds raised through the SHARE Party.

The Make-A-Wish experience has such a positive impact on the health and state of mind of children, from improving their quality of life and general outlook, to building hope and resilience, said Desjardins. “It gives them a sense of humanity, that there are good people out there,” she also said, while adding that a fulfilled wish inspires many young recipients to want to give back to the cause.

Past SHARE Party recipients have included Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa, Ottawa Network for Education, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, and The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health.

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From left, MJ Naim Brown with RBC financial adviser Don Cook, who's making tremendous progress on his annual Movember moustache, much to the chagrin of his wife, Fiona Murray Cook, right, at the SHARE Party hosted by the Malhotra Family Foundation. Photo by Caroline Phillips

— caroline@obj.ca