Canada 150

Paint the Town Red: Schmoozing and Halloween Celebration

Paint the Town Red: Schmoozing and Halloween Celebration

Schmoozefest

The first event up last week mixed practical with charitable: United Way’s Schmoozefest allowed professionals to mix and mingle, all the while raising funds for the Lunch Box Program, helping Ottawa’s most vulnerable youth reach their full potential. I don’t get too many opportunities to network with like-minded individuals, so as writers, my boyfriend and I used this occasion to meet some amazing up-and-coming professionals from the Ottawa area. I had the pleasure of reconnecting with Jason Hussak (Manager of Community Engagement) from The Arthritis Society, who puts on a fabulous annual event entitled TASTE! (The Arthritis Society’s Tasting Event). While enjoying a plate from Taj Indian Cuisine, we met our future hair stylist from Tinted Edge Artistic Hair Studio. And finally, we purchased lunch for a needy child, which allowed us to open up a paper bag (much like one would bring their lunch in) where we discovered our prize:  a gift card to Canvas Pop (we’ll be there soon to print our favorite photo on canvas)! With a silent auction, treats from Beau’s Brewery and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, and most importantly, the opportunity to connect with other young people in hopes of supporting a very worthy local cause, Schmoozefest attracted many future philanthropists, and gave me a sense of really being able to make a difference in this world.

7th Annual Great Pumpkin Charity Ball

I’ve never taken the opportunity of Halloween to dress up in one of those slinky adult costumes and dance the night away at a themed party held in one of the local clubs. So, when I found out about the Charity Pumpkin Ball a few years ago, I was really looking forward to bringing some friends to a unique and inspiring event to celebrate the occasion. Since then, this haunted event – held at the exquisitely beautiful Saint Brigid’s (previously used as a Roman Catholic church) –has grown significantly. Jeff and I joined 750 other imaginatively-costumed folks in support of the Ottawa Food Bank, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing (National Capital Division). As we entered, we were greeted and escorted downstairs, where we had the opportunity to strut our stuff at the souvenir photo booth (run by Ottawa photog Doug Budzak), purchase an arm’s length of raffle tickets, and boogie oogie in the Disco Dungeon (equipped with laser lighting). There were tons of prizes won (we can’t wait to host a video game party courtesy of Games To Go - our prize of the night!), drinks distributed, and fun to be had – especially jamming along with Hair Nation (Jeff’s favorite aspect) – an ‘80s metal cover band. It was most definitely a unique way to celebrate Halloween... and benefiting three Canadian charities only encourages me even more to attend next year.