First Annual Altis Bocce Battle nets more than $45K for Christie Lake Kids

Tournament hosted by Altis Recruitment and Technology co-founder and CEO Kathryn Tremblay in honour of late husband and business partner Toni Guimarães

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Whether or not you’re playing on an even surface, bocce is one of the few sports that always offers a level playing field because, regardless of one’s background, age, gender or size, almost anyone can play.

“What I love about bocce is that it’s very inclusive,” said Ottawa business leader Kathryn Tremblay, host of the inaugural charity bocce tournament held yesterday afternoon at Mooney’s Bay Park in honour of her late husband and business partner, Toni Guimarães.

Guimarães loved playing bocce, one of the oldest sports in the world.

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The event ended up raising more than $45,000 for Christie Lake Kids (CLK), a non-profit organization that had a profound impact on Guimarães’ youth.

He’d been 10 years old, still new to Canada from Portugal, when the organization approached him and offered to send him to summer camp for free, said Tremblay. He’d been sitting on his front doorstep in a rough part of Ottawa at the time.

Guimarães took advantage of the opportunity. His experience as a camper led to his involvement with the organization for many years. He became part of its leadership program. Tremblay credits CLK with helping Guimarães develop the confidence that led to him launching and building their business when they were both in their early 20s.

Today, Tremblay is co-founder and CEO of Altis Recruitment and Technology, which delivers recruitment and staffing services across Canada. She was recognized by the Ottawa business community with the CEO of the Year Award in 2021.

The 1st annual Altis Bocce Battle saw 22 teams pay $2,000 each to participate in the tournament. Along with raising money for charity, the day was a way to remember Guimarães, who passed away from advanced prostate cancer, seven years ago this month. He was 51.

From left, Christie Lake Kids (CLK) executive  director Adrienne Vienneau with Altis Recruitment and Technology CEO Kathryn Tremblay, CLK’s Justine White and Natalie Benson, and Nicole Vanbergen, director of communications and engagement for Altis, at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle in support of CLK. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
The object of bocce is to get the ball closest to the smaller white ball, called a pallino. Photo by Caroline Phillips

There were some 40 employees from Altis helping out that day, including Nicole Vanbergen in a leadership role. She’s done “everything,” said Tremblay, who covered all the costs of hosting the event.

Despite a cloudy and rainy morning, the weather cleared up nicely for the tournament.  On site was The Butchery and The Merry Dairy, as well as the mobile bar Thirst Responder. Bocce is one of the few sports you can play while still holding your drink and, in the case of Preston Hardware’s Armando Giannetti, your cigar.

He was playing with one of Guimarães’ long-time friends, real estate agent Luigi Aiello from Royal LePage Team Realty. They took home the championship trophy in the final round against Nicholas Allaham and his team from First Avenue Investment Counsel. District Realty and Richcraft were also among the top-finishing teams.

The Bocce Bellas never expected to win but, with their matching purple tutus and tiaras, had their eye on the best costume prize.

Attendees included Stéphane Brutus, dean of the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. He was having fun even if his skills were, as he phrased it, “a work in progress”.

 

Players with the Bocce Bellas and the Dymon Dozen teams celebrate during the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Last year, Christie Lake Kids celebrated its 100th anniversary. It got its start in 1922 after a progressive judge believed delinquent boys could be diverted from the criminal court system through more positive outdoor experiences, such as camp. 

CLK has an 88-acre summer camp on Christie Lake near Perth. In addition to that, it’s also been running its after-school STAR (skills through arts and recreation) program in priority urban neighbourhoods since 1985.  

All of CLK’s programs are delivered at no cost to the 600 local youth who benefit each year. “We provide all of the transportation from, a lot of times, Ottawa Community Housing facilities where kids live,” Natalie Benson, director of fundraising and communications at CLK, told listeners. “We provide food at all of our programs, all of the supplies and materials. If you imagine a program like hockey, we suit up the kids to get on the ice with all of the equipment, as well.”

Twenty-one-year-old Tayler Tremblett told the crowd how CLK has been “life changing” for him since he first got involved nearly 10 years ago, beginning as a camper and rising to senior staff member. “Honestly, since starting with Christie Lake, I’ve never really looked back.”

Valerie Stiles Beale, 19, expressed her gratitude for all the life skills CLK has taught her. “I absolutely owe so much to Christie Lake,” she said of an organization she considers to be just like home, just like a family.

From left, Nicole Vanbergen, Armando Giannetti, Kathryn Tremblay, Mike Sacca, Luigi Aiello, Joseph Giannetti, Natalie Benson and Adrienne Vienneau at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Stéphane Brutus, dean of Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, with Crystal Boudreau and Irfan Ahmed from Altis Recruitment and Technology at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Monica Singhal participates in the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle with her Richcraft team in support of  Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Founding partners Kevin Barwin and Tara Azulay from HR consulting firm Clariti Group at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Joseph Giannetti (Preston Hardware), Luigi Aiello (Royal LePage Team Realty), Mike Sacca (Preston Hardware) and Armando Giannetti (Preston Hardware) at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
The Bocce Bellas (Eileen Mlikan, Jenny Shinder, Gen Chanteloup and Vanessa von Finckenstein) watch their competition during the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Scott Parkes (Tamarack Homes), Steve  Mlikan (Larchwood Urban Developments), Michael Runia (Nautical Lands Group) and Pazi Deutsch (MSi) at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Nicholas Allaham from First Avenue Investment Counsel at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Michelle McKendrick, Crystal Boudreau, Ameera Girgis, Cindy Spence and Priya Aduvala, all with Altis Recruitment and Technology, were helping out at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Tharie Ouellette from Altis watches her ball roll down the green at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
RBC Royal Bank vice president Karl Quinn and his colleagues Daniel Thiruganaratnapathy, Alex Bélisle and Heidi Duchesne participated in the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Jennifer Burns, partner at David Burns & Associates, played in the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Jeff Smith (Smith & Reid Insurance) with his wife, Angela Singhal and her sister, Monica Singhal, both from Richcraft Homes, and Monica’s husband, Kevin Yemm, also with Richcraft, at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Luigi Aiello from Royal LePage Team Realty focuses during the championship round at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Kathryn Tremblay, CEO and co-founder of Altis Recruitment and Technology, seen with her sister-in-law, Maria Guimarães, at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held for Christie Lake Kids and in memory of Tremblay’s late husband and Guimarães’ late brother, Toni Guimarães. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Nicholas Allaham from First Avenue Investment Counsel tosses his ball down the green at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held for Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Jezsica Sim and Branka Janković from Altis Recruitment and Technology volunteered at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held for Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Stéphane Brutus, dean of the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, participated in the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held for Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Irfan Ahmed (Altis Recruitment and Technology) with Prof. Jennifer Dimoff from the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management, along with the program’s dean, Stéphane Brutus, and Jonathan Westeinde (Windmill Developments) at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Tyler Tremblett, 21, and Valerie Stiles Beale, 19, both spoke at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle about how Christie Lake Kids has changed their lives for the better. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Armando Giannetti from Preston Hardware focuses on the game during the championship round at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Natalie Benson, director of fundraising and communications at Christie Lake Kids, with the non-profit organization’s executive director, Adrienne Vienneau, and its fundraising and events coordinator, Justine White, at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Nicholas Allaham from First Avenue Investment Counsel focuses on the game during the championship round at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Founding partners Kevin Barwin and Tara Azulay from HR consulting firm Clariti Group at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
The team from Clariti Group watch Kevin Barwin as he prepares to throw his bocce ball down the green at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Jesse Mills, Kim Piché, Jason Hunt and Nicholas Allaham from First Avenue Investment Counsel placed second at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
The Thirst Responder was serving drinks at the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle held in support of Christie Lake Kids. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Natalie Benson from Christie Lake Kids and Kathryn Tremblay, co-founder and CEO of Altis Recruitment and Technology with the ceremonial cheque in the amount of $44,000 for CLK, raised at the the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Twenty-two teams came out to Mooney’s Bay Park on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, for the 1st Annual Altis Bocce Battle. Photo by Caroline Phillips
caroline@obj.ca

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