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(Posted 10 p.m., Nov. 25)
Unique fundraising event benefits two important organizations
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

When you think of bingo cards and dabbers, the last thing that comes to mind is black ties and evening gowns, but both were on display in abundance on Saturday during the first ever Black Tie Bingo at the Westin Hotel.

More than 300 people paid $150 each for a chance to yell "bingo" and take home one of the many prizes that were up for grabs at the event which was organized in support of the Eldercare Foundation of Ottawa and the OutCare Foundation. In the end, more than $50,000 was raised, an impressive amount for an inaugural event.

Navan businessman and Outcare Foundation chairman John Bradley (left) is joined by executive director Lisa Davey, guest emcee Catherine Clark and Eldercare Foundation of Ottawa founder and president Adam Nihmey at the first annual Black Tie Bingo. Ottawa Citizen photo

“Everyone loves bingo,” explained volunteer president and founder of the Eldercare Foundation of Ottawa, Adam Nihmey when asked about the success of the new event. "The guests were excited to play and a lot of them commented that they had forgotten what fun it was and how it brought back childhood memories.”

Guests enjoyed mingling at the reception and browsed the impressive selection of silent auction items. After an incredible meal, the bingo games began. Emcee Catherine Clark worked closely with professional bingo hall operators Friends’ Bingo guiding those in attendance through five fun-filled and sometimes quite intense bingo games.

Presented by MediSystem Pharmacy -- a Shoppers Drug Mart company -- the event brought together two charities that are at the forefront in raising funds and awareness for palliative care throughout our community.

“The success of the event is a testament to how well our two organizations work together," explained Navan businessman and OutCare Foundation board chair John Bradley. "It was thrilling to see the community’s reaction to our first ever Black Tie Bingo. We're already looking forward to next year’s event!”

MediSystem Pharmacy played a leadership role as the presenting sponsor. Other donors and event partners included BMO Financial Group, Benchent, CIBC Wood Gundy, Chartwell Retirement Residences, Rx&D, Capacity Financial, Cisco, Dust Evans Grandmaitre, Ernst & Young, Friends’ Bingo, Gowlings, The Jewel 98.5, J.T. Bradley’s Country Convenience Store in Navan, KPMG, Logan Katz, Lowe Martin, Oriana Trombetti, Ottawa Business Journal, Renaissance Investments, Retire-At-Home, Sun Life Financial, Swiss International Air lines, Telus, VIA Rail and the Westin Ottawa.

Funds raised will help improve the quality of life of residents in non-profit long-term care homes and for individuals who need palliative care. It will ensure that people are comfortable, well taken care of, and treated with dignity in their remaining years. To learn more about the charities visit www.eldercarefoundation.ca and www.outcarefoundation.org.

For more details on the event or to see photos visit www.blacktiebingoottawa.com.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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