Ottawa Mission lands $100K 'transformational' gift from Malhotra Family Foundation's Share Party

Ninth annual benefits returns to Andaz Ottawa hotel in ByWard Market in aid of the hungry and homeless
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From left, Sean Wong, executive  director of The Ottawa Mission Foundation, with Claridge Homes employee Clarissa Steele, Malhotra Family Foundation co-founders Louise Malhotra and Shawn Malhotra, and Claridge Homes owner Bill Malhotra and Romina Malhotra, at the 9th annual Share Party held at the Andaz hotel. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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And just like that, the good folks from The Ottawa Mission left the Malhotra Family Foundation’s 9th annual Share Party on Friday night with a $100,000 donation.

That’s money that will make a huge difference to a local charity doing wonderful work to help the city’s most down-and-out population. Keep in mind, the average gift to The Ottawa Mission is $55.

“Thankfully, we have a lot of donors who help us get to where we need to go, but $100,000 represents transformational change,” Sean Wong, executive director of The Ottawa Mission Foundation, told OBJ.social. 

Around 250 people attended this year’s Share Party at the Andaz Ottawa hotel in the ByWard Market.

The hosts, Louise Malhotra and her husband, Claridge Homes chief operating officer Shawn Malhotra, are co-founders of the family foundation, which also runs an annual charity golf tournament. The two events, through the backing of business sponsors, have cumulatively raised more than $3 million for local charities

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From left, Shawn Malhotra, co-founder of the Malhotra Family Foundation, with Ottawa Mission past board president Scott Hannant, Louise Malhotra, also co-founder of the Malhotra Family Foundation, Ottawa Mission Foundation executive director Sean Wong, and Tony Bennett, board president of The Ottawa Mission Foundation, at the 9th annual Share Party, held at the Andaz Ottawa hotel. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The evening is almost purely social. There is a five-minute pause to allow the Malhotras to express their gratitude and present their ceremonial cheque. "It's really fun to have a party like this to celebrate good times, knowing that we’re raising a lot of money for an amazing cause," Shawn, a 2018 Forty Under 40 recipient, said as he thanked the dozens of businesses that joined as platinum and gold sponsors.

Shawn threw in a little surprise by leading everyone in a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday for his wife, who’s “turning 30 for the 10th time on Sunday”. The attention may have left Louise embarrassed but at least she wasn’t under any pressure to blow out candles on the cake, after it was paraded into the room. It came with sparklers.

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Louise Malhotra was surprised with a birthday cake during the Share Party held at Andaz Ottawa hotel on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in support of The Ottawa Mission. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Malhotra Family Foundation co-founders Louise Malhotra and husband Shawn Malhotra are caught in a PDA moment during their Share Party, held at the Andaz Ottawa hotel in the ByWard Market on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. Photo by Caroline Phillips

For anyone not familiar with Ottawa’s real estate industry, the Malhotras are one the largest developers in town. Their family-owned Claridge Homes has built communities, condo towers and retirement homes, along with the Andaz Ottawa hotel. The Claridge Icon condo tower currently being constructed in Little Italy stands a striking 45 storeys tall and can be seen from miles away.

Louise and Shawn presented the cheque to The Ottawa Mission while joined by Shawn’s parents, Claridge Homes owner Bill Malhotra and his wife, Romina Malhotra, and on behalf of older brother Neil Malhotra and his wife, Ainsley Malhotra

A special shout out was given to Claridge Homes sales and marketing coordinator Clarissa Steele for taking the lead in organizing the party this year. 

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Romina Malhotra and her husband, Bill Malhotra, founder and CEO of Claridge Homes, at the 9th annual Share Party held Friday, Nov. 10, 2019, at their Andaz Ottawa hotel in support of The Ottawa Mission. Photo by Caroline Phillips

While The Ottawa Mission is best known for providing food, clothing and shelter, it delivers a variety of programs that strive to end homelessness. Its Food Services Training Program, for example, provides men and women with a chance to learn the skills needed to work in commercial kitchens.

“I feel like a lot of you will already know the name, The Ottawa Mission, but I feel what most of you won’t know is the breadth and the depth to which they affect our community,” Louise told the room. “They look at helping how do you get a job, how do you deal with addiction, how do you deal with mental health issues. These are all things they tackle on a daily basis, and they do it with humility, they do it with patience, and they do it with kindness.”

Louise told OBJ.social that the foundation has been interested in supporting the organization ever since she met with Scott Hannant, who's now past president of the board, and got a tour of the facility a few years ago.

"They've been on our radar for a long  time."

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From left, Shelley True, president of marketing firm TRUEdotDESIGN, with Linebox Studio principal partner and senior architect Andrew Reeves, and his wife, Melissa Reeves, co-founder and head of operations and marketing at Linebox Studio, at the 9th annual Share Party. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Media personality, writer, speaker and health and wellness advocate Lianne Laing with her husband, visual artist Tony Harris, arrive to the 9th annual Share Party held at Andaz Ottawa hotel in support of The Ottawa Mission. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Luc Rancourt, owner of gold sponsor Duron concrete services, with his wife, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Jo-Anne Bellai and Pietro Bellai, president of gold sponsor Bellai Brothers Construction, at the 9th annual Share Party held at Andaz Ottawa hotel in support of The Ottawa Mission. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Annis O’Sullivan Vollebekk co-owner Ed Herweyer, left, Ron Robinson, and Andy Shelp, co-owner of platinum sponsor Annis O’Sullivan Vollebekk, at the 9th annual Share Party held at Andaz Ottawa hotel in support of The Ottawa Mission. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Jeff Clarke, president and CEO of platinum sponsor Environmental Inflector Services, with his girlfriend, Susy Lee, marketing coordinator at TRUEdotDesign, at the 9th annual Share Party held at Andaz Ottawa hotel in support of The Ottawa Mission. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Jackie Beaudoin, sales representative with Sutton Group, with yoga instructor Andrea Robertson, Bibbi Alfredsson and her sister-in-law, Jillian Alfredsson, at the 9th annual Share Party held at Andaz Ottawa hotel in support of The Ottawa Mission. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, account managers Jean-Yves Tessier and Kevin Dacres from gold sponsor Desjardins with Stephane Chenier, vice president of the bank's real estate group, at the 9th annual Share Party held at Andaz Ottawa hotel in support of The Ottawa Mission. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Some 250 people were at the Andaz Ottawa hotel on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, for this year's Share Party, presented by the Malhotra Family Foundation in support of The Ottawa Mission. Photo by Caroline Phillips

— caroline@obj.ca