Ottawa Lawn Summer Nights rolls into new season of raising funds for cystic fibrosis research

Popular fundraiser continues each Wednesday in July at local lawn bowling club
Editor's Note

 

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Here’s what you should know about lawn bowling: all the cool kids are doing it.

At least, they are each Wednesday night throughout the month of July at the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club, located in a pretty little neighbourhood just south of Hintonburg.

They're taking part in the sold-out Ottawa Lawn Summer Nights, an annual fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada that’s fun, casual, and highly social. There are 41 registered teams this year and organizers are hoping to raise $90,000.

Some 200 people turned out for Wednesday night's big launch. Players took turns rolling their bowls down the smooth grassy surface. It didn't matter if participants were as green as the lawn on which they were playing; volunteers from the club were happy to share pointers.

And, the weather — with its clear skies and balmy temperatures — could not have been better. As the evening wore on, players were bathed in the golden glow of the setting sun.

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That's Apt613 editor Hannah Manning showing everyone how it's done at the launch held Wednesday, July 3, 2019, of this year's Ottawa Lawn Summer Nights fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Lawn Summer Nights, an annual fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada, takes place at the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club each Wednesday throughout July. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Shopify’s director of talent acquisition, Anna Lambert, chief talent officer Brittany Forsyth and Alexandra Clark, chief of staff to the CEO, at Lawn Summer Nights, held at the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Laurae Kloschinsky enjoys a laugh while participating in Ottawa Lawn Summer Nights, an annual lawn bowling fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada taking place at the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club each Wednesday night throughout July. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Ottawa Lawn Summer Nights, an annual lawn bowling fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada, is taking place at the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club each Wednesday night throughout July. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Greg McEachern has been participating in and raising money for Lawn Summer Nights ever since one of his former colleagues, Meredith Taylor, helped to bring the fundraiser to Ottawa in 2013. 

“You know those January nights when it’s really, really bitterly cold in Ottawa and you wonder why you live here? I think about these nights in July, when I’m standing here, with a nice cold drink, with a whole bunch of people that I really like, having some fun,” McEachern, senior vice president of government relations for Proof Strategies, told OBJ.social. 

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Greg MacEachern (centre), senior vice president at Proof Strategies, with colleagues Chris McCluskey, left, and Eric Dillane at Lawn Summer Nights, held at the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips

It's tradition for teams to have some fun with their attire, from whimsical summer outfits to wacky costumes.  For one team, the choice of polyester athleisure wear could not have been entirely comfortable on such a hot day. "Sometimes, you just have to sweat," replied Rob LeForte in his long-sleeved tracksuit top.

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From left, Rob LeForte (Impact Public Affairs), Ashton Arsenault (Crestview Strategy), Hardave Birk (Shaw Communications) and, in the front, Zachary Fentiman (Finance Canada) at Ottawa Lawn Summer Nights, held at the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Nael Alsaffar from The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre with Jonathan Giraldi (Aitken Klee LLP) and Niamh Lawlor, also with the Cancer Centre, are members of the Wildcats team for Lawn Summer Nights. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, City of Ottawa employees Kristen Côté and Jamie Hurst with Laurae Kloschinsky, regional director of Classic Care Pharmacy Corporation, and Jenn Hartley-Boyce with the “High Rollers” team for Lawn Summer Nights. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Lisa Sarazin (Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions), Donna Leo (Red Door Provisions), Melinda Franco (Anna Belanger & Associates), Laurence de Montigny St-Onge (Canadian Museum of Nature), Jennifer Kasiri (Justice Canada) and Ottawa dentist Anita E are members of the Grass Stains team for Lawn Summer Nights. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Michael Hooper (RE/MAX) with Anna Borotko, Kristen Hooper, Nathan Bowers (Global Centre for Pluralism) and Brook Simpson (Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities), at Lawn Summer Nights. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Lawn Summer Nights takes place in cities across Canada, from Vancouver and Victoria, to Calgary, Regina and Winnipeg, to Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Charlottetown. It was founded in 2009.

In Ottawa, the organizing committee is chaired this year by Amanda Ruddy, who has a background in special events with OSEG (Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group) and the National Arts Centre. You might have heard of her Uncle John, as in Trinity Development executive chairman John Ruddy.

The money will support the work that Cystic Fibrosis Canada is doing to fund research and provide supplementary support for CF treatment programs at its clinics and transplant centres. 

Ottawa filmmaker Max McGuire was back to speak to the crowd about his own experience of living with cystic fibrosis. He and his team are among the top fundraisers. In recognition of his contributions to CF Canada, McGuire was honoured with the Michelle Breakwell Award by the charitable organization.

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Patricia McLaughlin, regional executive director with Cystic Fibrosis Canada, presents the Michelle Breakwell Award to Max McGuire at this year's launch of Ottawa Lawn Summer Nights. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Patricia McLaughlin with Max McGuire and event chair Amanda Ruddy at Lawn Summer Nights, held at the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips

McGuire gave everyone the “basic rundown” on the chronic genetic illness. It mainly affects the lungs, along with other organs, and leads to repeated lung infections and, potentially, pneumonia. “Eventually, your lungs fail and you either need a lung transplant or you pass.”

McGuire considers himself one of the lucky ones. When he was born, doctors told his parents that he wouldn’t likely live past the age 13.  “I’m 38,” he pointed out. “I have wrinkles.”

A child born today with cystic fibrosis has an average life expectancy of 52. “And that’s because of events like this, and you guys all raising money,” McGuire told the crowd as he encouraged everyone to keep up their fundraising efforts. “The money you raise does matter.”

Lawn Summer Nights continues in Ottawa on July 10th, 17th and 24th. 

The public is welcome to come out, network and support the cause by purchasing a $25 ticket, which includes drink and food tickets.

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Player Laurae Kloschinsky gets some pointers from the Elmdale Bowling Club's Brian Thomas at the launch of Lawn Summer Nights on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Lawn Summer Nights, an annual lawn bowling fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada, is taking place at the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club during each Wednesday night in July. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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That's Rene Boucher from the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club discussing strategy with one of the players at Lawn Summer Nights, an annual fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Photo by Caroline Phillips

— caroline@obj.ca