2014 Harvest of Hope Banquet and Auction raises $12,800
The Caldwell Family Centre (CFC) held its 2nd Annual Harvest of Hope Banquet and Auction on Tuesday October 7, 2014 at the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre. It was a lively evening of bidding for goods and services donated by Ottawa businesses and residents, with lots of good food and conversation.
Mayor Jim Watson mingled with the enthusiastic crowds milling around the silent auction items at the beginning of the evening. There were over 100 items up for grabs, including restaurant gift certificates, work by local artisans, beauty services and fitness memberships. Bidding started slowly as people explored the selection of items, but the bid sheets filled up fast as competition heated up.
Emcee for the evening was CTV reporter Stefan Keyes, who not only presided over the proceedings with grace and humour, but delighted the crowd with a beautiful rendering of “At Last,” the song that Barack and Michelle Obama danced to at the presidential inauguration in 2009.
The banquet was hosted by local restaurateur David Smith. After the audience had tucked into steak with all the trimmings, served amidst stylish fall table decorations, Yolaine Münter, chair of the board said a few words about the Caldwell Family Centre. Barry O’Gorman, representing the Knights of Columbus, presented a cheque for $500 to David Walsh, CFC’s executive director Maria McRae, councillor for River Ward, who will be retiring later this month, warmly acknowledged CFC’s success, calling it a pillar of the community. David Walsh thanked the organizing committee, sponsors, community partners, and all the volunteers who contributed to making the evening a success.
David Smith presided over the auction with Sotheby’s flair, loudly and enthusiastically raising bids on a tempting list of offerings including RedBlacks tickets, a Heritage high tea, the work of local artists, and lunches with local politicians. At the end of the official list, he encouraged further donations to support the Christmas food basket program, raising an additional $2300.
It was a great night of fun and food, with all proceeds going to support the CFC emergency food program, which is one of the busiest food banks in the city, helping to feed 1700 people each month.