‘Ladies night’ raises $8,000 for Ottawa’s Harmony House

Jeri Campbell, wife of Ottawa RedBlacks head coach Rick Campbell, was among roughly 100 women helping to raise money for victims of domestic abuse during a party held Friday at Andaz Ottawa Byward Market.

The luxury boutique hotel partnered with Ottawa Foodie Girlz to host a ladies’ night. It raised more than $8,000 for Harmony House, a second-stage shelter that helps women and their children who are fleeing domestic violence by providing a transition period from crisis shelter service to safe and affordable transitional housing.

The coach’s wife is a long-time supporter of shelters for abused women.

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“They’re at a point where they’re finally getting their life back together,” Campbell told OBJ.social at the party, which she attended with her girlfriends. “It’s so important that there are these types of shelters, for them to be able to get back out in the world and continue on with their lives.”

A $65 ticket to the event included cocktails, canapés, charcuterie, desserts, spa services and chair massages. There was also a fashion show presented by the designer dress rental boutique Rent frock Repeat as well as a mini-marketplace featuring local businesses.

On hand were the hotel’s executive chef, Stephen La Salle, and food blogger and volunteer fundraiser Judy Hum-Delaney, founder of Ottawa Foodie Girlz (it has more than 10,000 social media followers).

From left, Cristina Velez, director of human resources at Andaz Ottawa Byward Market, with the hotel’s executive chef, Stephen La Salle, and Judy Hum-Delaney, founder of Ottawa Foodie Girlz, on Friday, March 24, 2017, for Ladies’ Night in support of Harmony House second-stage women’s shelter. (Photo by Caroline Phillips)

By day, Hum-Delaney is a production manager at Canadian Science Publishing. By night, she’s a volunteer event planner.

At age 32, she had a life-changing experience: open heart surgery at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. To show her gratitude, Hum-Delaney started raising money for the Heart Institute and has continued to plan food-related events with the culinary community for local causes.

Harmony House will be getting another philanthropic boost next month when the Ottawa RedBlacks host their third annual Women’s Night at TD Place for a crowd of 200 on April 20. A portion of each $75 ticket is going to the women’s shelter.

The evening includes a welcome reception, door prizes and swag. Rick Campbell and some of his coaching staff and players volunteer their time to tour the women around the locker room (he also gives a little pep talk, just like he does on game nights). As well, the RedBlacks take the women out on the field to run through some of the drills.

The evening is a pet project of the Campbells. “It’s basically just to get women involved in football and to not feel intimidated about the game,” said Jeri, while emphasizing that it’s a women-only event. “I get a lot of men who are so mad that they don’t get to come that they threaten to come in drag.”

Tickets go on sale today on the RedBlacks’ website but they’re expected to sell out quickly, due to the event’s growing popularity.

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