• By: Tori McNeely

37th Reach Annual Celebrity Auction

Reach Canada was founded in 1981 as a non-profit and self-funded organization providing legal referral services for people with disabilities. The organization links people with disabilities in Ottawa-Carleton and eastern Ontario with lawyers to help them resolves their legal issues.

Co-founder of Reach and current member of the Reach Advisory Council, Lawrence Greenspon, told Ottawa Life Magazine, “Access to justice for persons with disabilities and organizations for themselves and their families was in need of serious support. We asked Ottawa lawyers to volunteer their time and sign up as Reach lawyers. The generosity of the local Bar has continued to this day with over 170 Ottawa Reach lawyers.”

Every year the organization holds their high-profile event and mainstay for annual funding, The Reach Annual Celebrity Auction. Josie Fleming, Reach's Fundraising/Special Events Coordinator, told Ottawa Life Magazine, “The Annual Celebrity Auction is a major source of revenue for Reach and covers a significant portion of our annual operating budget. Any additional funds raised will be used towards outreach to lawyers in the Champlain region so that Reach can provide legal referrals to individuals in smaller communities surrounding Ottawa.”

Local and national businesses, artists, Embassies, High Commissions and others contribute items to be auctioned. The proceeds from the auction are put towards supporting Reach’s efforts in helping those with disabilities achieve equal access to justice and educational programming. For Greenspon, the success of this year’s event would be to, “surpass last year’s net of $75K while making sure everyone has a great evening.”

 The night combines a reception, gala dinner, live auction, silent auction, and live music. Josie Flemming said, “Guests can expect to be entertained by emcees Lawrence Greenspon & James Foord as well as guest auctioneer Jock Climie, TSN Analyst and former CFL Player. They will also have the opportunity to bid on unique items and once-in-a-lifetime experiences while supporting a good cause.”

Josie also provided insight into some of the night’s notable items to be featured in the auction including two flights on behalf of WestJet to wherever WestJet flies, a limited edition screenprint by Group of Seven member A.J. Casson, dinner at the Embassy of Hungary and much more! Reach is also extremely excited about two special live auction items for the evening, which include two tickets to the Grey Cup in 100 level seats, kindly donated by McNally Gervan LLP, and well as two VIP passes to Tower of Song: A Memorial Tribute to Leonard Cohen donated by the Reach Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and Auction Chair!

The annual auction is run by a highly dedicated volunteer committee who work year-round to bring the most exciting auction items to the event. The auction relies heavily on in-kind support from a number of generous local businesses not only to contribute the auction items, but also to provide decor, appetizers, wine, flower arrangements, AV and meals for the dedicated volunteers.

Join Reach Canada for their 37th annual gala & auction which will take place at the St.Elias Centre on Wednesday November 1st.