Golfers take a swing at ending world poverty

golfing
A misty Camelot Golf and Country Club was the perfect venue for Ottawa’s World Partnership Golf tournament. Photo provided by Tia Photography.

Even a steady downpour of rain couldn’t dampen the spirits and generosity of attendees of the World Partnership Golf tournament on Monday.

Golfers endured six hours of constant rain at Camelot Golf and Country Club and then tidied themselves up for a fun-filled dinner that culminated in a record-breaking fundraising total for the decades-old golf event.

Business leaders and professionals, as well as several physicians and dentists, gathered to show their ongoing support for the Aga Khan Foundation Canada. World Partnership Golf was established back in 2000 to raise money for the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, which is part of a global organization aiming to break the cycles of poverty in Africa and Asia. Cities across Canada host golf tournaments organized by volunteers, and, over the past 22 years, the tournaments have collectively raised more than $18 million.

Nadia Valji, who works as a territory manager for Align Technology, was this year’s tournament chair, flanked by her trusty vice-chair, Nazaam Charania, a division manager at IG Wealth Management. Together, they led a small army of volunteers who worked for more than eight months to make the tournament a success.

cheque
The 2022 Ottawa tournament raised a record-breaking $180,800 for the Aga Khan Foundation Canada. Photo provided by Tia Photography.

Golfers were treated to many perks during the day, including mimosas, massages and watermelon-scented towels.

Back at Camelot’s castle-like clubhouse in the evening, local band Anchito livened the mood for cocktail guests, who also snacked on delicious Italian hors d'oeuvres from Giovanni’s restaurant.

The dinner was emceed by OBJ publisher Michael Curran, returning for his second gig in as many years. 

golf
Aga Khan Foundation Canada CEO Khalil Shariff, right, with longtime golf tournament supporter Hassan Moghadam, left. Photo provided by Tia Photography.

Aga Khan Foundation Canada CEO Khalil Shariff spoke to the attentive audience about the massive economic and health damage done by the pandemic in less fortunate parts of the world. 

The highlight of the dinner was a live auction called by Jake Devine of Unreserved. The first-time auctioneer showed his talents in auctioning desirable items, chief among them an elegant dinner at the Portuguese ambassador’s residence. The hotly contested item ended up going for $5,600 to Daniel Fernandez. Caught up in the excitement, Ambassador Antonio Leao Rocha offered up a second dinner, which raised another $6,000. It was purchased by Fayez Thawer.

The tournament concluded with a giant cheque unveiling. The crowd was amazed that their collective efforts totalled $180,800.

Shariff implored guests to generously donate to his cause and concluded with a message that hit close to home. “The world needs more of Canada.”

Never miss a story. Get OBJ's daily update in your inbox every Monday to Friday. Click here to subscribe.