Heart Institute supporters get their 'oompah' on at Bier Markt's Oktoberfest

Sold-out benefit attracts business community, raises more than $100K for University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Editor's Note

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It was time to roll out the barrel, roll out the barrel of funds, for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute as a sold-out crowd of supporters gathered at Bier Markt on Wednesday night for the 5th Annual Capital Oktoberfest benefit.

Happy sounds of live polka music and the clinking of giant beer mugs could be heard as some 200 partygoers sampled traditional German beer, wines and food at the downtown restaurant, located on Ottawa’s pedestrian friendly Sparks Street. Not only did the keg flow freely, so did the generosity. The fundraiser grossed $104,825 for the Heart Institute, a world-class facility located in our own backyard.

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From left, Mona Santaguida and clinical neuropsychologist Emily Segal at the Capital Oktoberfest benefit for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, held at Bier Markt on Sparks Street on Wednesday, September 25, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Sanjay Shah, president of ExecHealth, with Paul Hindo, executive chairman of Cyber Defence Corporation, at the Capital Oktoberfest benefit for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, held at Bier Markt on Sparks Street on Wednesday, September 25, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Kazimier "Kaz" Samujlo on accordion with Don Paterson on trumpet at the Capital Oktoberfest benefit for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, held at Bier Markt on Sparks Street on Wednesday, September 25, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The popular benefit was once again co-chaired by Steve Gallant, first vice president and investment advisor with Gallant MacDonald CIBC Private Wealth Management, and Tony Rhodes, sales representative with Rhodes Barker Luxury Real Estate. The pair donned traditional Bavarian clothing, including lederhosen, suspenders and alpine felt hats. Luckily for Gallant, he didn’t have to dig far into his closet for his checkered shirt; he wore it just last week for a farm-themed benefit for the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

Bier Markt general manager Peter Chase and his staff did a ‘wunderbar’ job hosting the party while CHG Meridian, a technology management firm based out of Germany, was the presenting sponsor.

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From left, Capital Oktoberfest co-chairs Tony Rhodes and Steve Gallant with Peter Chase, general manager of Bier Markt, at the fifth annual benefit for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Photo by Caroline Phillips

“I think everyone in this room knows someone who has benefited from the Ottawa Heart Institute,” said Gallant, who was a sponsor that night and also sits on the UOHI Foundation board.

His own dad, Korean war vet Gord Gallant, underwent double bypass surgery at the Heart Institute at age 39. That kept him going until 75, when he went back in for a triple bypass. He’s now 85 and “still kicking,” Gallant told the room. “This place is amazing.”

Dr. Thierry Mesana, president and CEO of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, put his steady (and oh-so soft!) surgeon hands to good use by assisting with the official tapping of the keg.

Also present was Jim Orban, president and CEO of the UOHI Foundation. He’s been named this year's Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Ottawa chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Also from the UOHI Foundation was its board chair, Barbara Farber, president of Leikin Group, along with board member Krista Kealey, vice-president of communications and public affairs for the Ottawa International Airport Authority. 

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From left, Guy Poirier from CHG-Meridian Canada, with Barbara Farber and Dr. Thierry Mesana, head of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, at Capital Oktoberfest. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Shannon Gorman, executive director of TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, with Jim Orban, and Sarah Arden, senior manager of community investment at TELUS, at Capital Oktoberfest. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Darcy Walsh, senior vice-president and general manager of Edelman's Ottawa office, with Lindsay Baker-Firestone, manager of events and community engagement for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and Chris Vivone, senior vice president at Edelman, at Capital Oktoberfest. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation board chair member Steve Gallant with the board's chair, Barbara Farber, and fellow board member Krista Kealey, at the Capital Oktoberfest benefit for the Heart Institute, held at Bier Markt. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Jeff Gallant and Kyle MacDonald, portfolio managers with sponsor Gallant MacDonald CIBC Private Wealth Management, at the Capital Oktoberfest benefit for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Sighted from some of the business sponsors were: UOHI board member Jacques Emond, co-founding partner of Emond Harnden LLP; Shannon Gorman and Sarah Arden from Telus; Michael Wilson, co-CEO of 1251 Capital Group; Derek Nicholson, partner at Beament Hebert Nicholson LLP; James Maxwell, partner of Deslaurier Custom Cabinets; Chris Vivone and Darcy Walsh from Edelman's Ottawa office; and Jeff Gallant and Kyle MacDonald from Gallant MacDonald CIBC Private Wealth Management. They won a Canada's Top Forty Under 40 Award this year.

Also out to support the cause was Dr. Emile Rodrigues, co-owner of sponsor Billings Bridge Dental Centre. He was there with his wife, Cheryl Rodrigues, 61, who has bounced back since her valve replacement surgery two months ago at the Heart Institute. She praised the level of care and support that she received from the entire staff. “I have nothing but amazing things to say,” she told OBJ.social. “They were really positive and upbeat."

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Dr. Emile Rodrigues, co-owner of sponsor Billings Bridge Dental Centre, and his wife, Cheryl Rodrigues, were out to support the University of Ottawa Heart Institute at the 5th Annual Capital Oktoberfest, held at Bier Markt. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Mark Bonneau, senior vice president of corporate sales with the Ottawa Senators hockey club, with Michael Wilson, co-CEO of sponsor 1251 Capital Group, at the 5th Annual Capital Oktoberfest, held at Bier Markt. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Emond Harnden LLP partner Jacques Emond with Jim Orban, president and CEO of the UOHI Foundation, at the 5th Annual Capital Oktoberfest, held at Bier Markt. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, entrepreneur James Maxwell, a partner in Deslaurier Custom Cabinets, with aerospace entrepreneur Mark van Berkel  at the 5th Annual Capital Oktoberfest, held at Bier Markt. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Tony Rhodes with sponsor Derek Nicholson from Beament Hebert Nicholson LLP and Steve Gallant at the 5th Annual Capital Oktoberfest for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The live auction saw a portion of the proceeds from the prizes go to support the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre.

Items included a trip for two to Oktoberfest 2020 in Munich, with flights and accommodations and VIP access, courtesy of German brewery Paulaner and the Bier Markt. It sold for $7,500. Also up for grabs was a Bavarian breakfast for 20 to be hosted by German Ambassador Sabine Sparwasser at her official residence, with her husband, Gary Soroka.

Nautical Lands Group donated the use of their private plane, a King Air 350, for any day-trip destination (pilots included, of course). It went for $11,000.

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From left, Ainslie Morgan and Rileigh MacLean, both hostesses at the Bier Markt restaurant on Sparks Street, welcome guests to the 5th Annual Capital Oktoberfest benefit for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Denise Bourque, Terri Hoddinott, Maggie Sardelis and Janet Gallant at Capital Oktoberfest. Photo by Caroline Phillips

There were season’s tickets to the Redblacks, 67’s and Fury games, as well as a premium Ottawa Senators package.

The Knock Out Draw, and a chance to walk away with up to $5,000, saw the five final contestants agree to donate their winnings back to the cause, thereby raising $8,200 for the Heart Institute.

Other attendees included Leslie (Les) Mise, chair of the Fuller Keon Golf Tournament for the Heart Institute, and some of the friendly faces involved with another charity event that Gallant, Rhodes and others spent years organizing: Ringside for Youth for the Boys and Girls Club. It wrapped up in June, after 25 years.

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From left, Les Mise with Dr. Thierry Mesana, head of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, at Capital Oktoberfest. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Patrick McGuinness and Jaime Wallace, financial advisors at CIBC Wood Gundy, at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute's 5th Annual Capital Oktoberfest, held at Bier Markt on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.
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From left, Rolland Vaive, partner at Vaive and Associates, with his host, Hugues Boisvert, chairman and CEO at HazloLaw,  at Capital Oktoberfest. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Event co-chairs Tony Rhodes, left, and Steve Gallant at Capital Oktoberfest for the Ottawa Heart Institute with Ottawa musician Dick Cooper, centre, with whom they've become close through their long-time charity work. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Jacqui Wilson with Stephanie Appotive, co-owner of Howard Fine Jewellers, and Nancy Chow at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute's 5th Annual Capital Oktoberfest, held at Bier Markt on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.
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The Fifth Annual Capital Oktoberfest benefit for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, held Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at the downtown Bier Markt restaurant, featured live music. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Supporters of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute packed the Bier Markt on Sparks Street on Wednesday night for the 5th Annual Capital Oktoberfest benefit. Photo by Caroline Phillips

— caroline@obj.ca