All bets were on helping cancer patients in our community as hundreds turned out Friday night to Welch LLP's Grand Casino night, held at the Shaw Centre in aid of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
It was the fourth year that the Ottawa-based chartered professional accounting firm has hosted the charity casino night. The popular networking event, which added a masquerade twist, usually raises between $20,000 and $25,000.
Disclaimer: no children’s education funds nor mortgage payments were put at risk during any point in the evening. Participants received $500 in Welch play money to purchase gambling chips, which could later be cashed in to try and win prizes.
On hand to officially welcome everyone was Welch LLP managing partner Micheal Burch. He spoke of how the evening is meant to take the company’s core value of caring for others and combine it with his personal favourite: fun.
He thanked the business sponsors and attendees for coming out and supporting the cause.
“You’re making a huge difference and we’re very grateful that you’re here,” said Burch.
The evening was organized by the firm's marketing team.
While on the subject of gambling and odds, one in two Canadians is expected to develop cancer during their lifetime and one out of four Canadians is expected to die from the disease, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Welch’s advisory firm, Welch Capital Partners (formerly Welch Group Consulting), is led by Candace Enman, who’s on the board of directors at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
Representing the cancer foundation that night was John Ouellette, vice president of philanthropy. The non-profit organization is honoured to be the charity of choice for Welch LLP and its Welch Legacy Foundation, he told OBJ.social.
“There are so many wonderful charities in the community, and for them to put their trust in us, it’s something that means a lot and we’re going to honour that by helping people in the community with clinical trials and research and helping families through cancer coaching,” said Ouellette.
About 600 families benefit each year from the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s free cancer-coaching programs, which is paid for through philanthropy. It helps individuals diagnosed with the disease, as well as their family members, through their cancer journey. It also provides education and support for people who are post-treatment and ready to return to work.
“With Welch celebrating their 100 anniversary last year, they continue to be a real leader in this community, and demonstrate that they’re committed to organizations that are helping their friends, neighbours, associates and clients,” Ouellette also said.
Among the many who were out supporting the event from the business community were: Meridian Credit Union regional vice-president Rafik Gabriel, Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall co-chairman and partner Aaron Rubinoff, Ottawa Business Journal publisher Michael Curran, affable emcee Matt Jacques, who's a sales representative with Royal LePage Commercial Realty, and Tea and Toast CEO and founder Amy Friesen, who won this year both a WBN Businesswoman of the Year award and Forty Under 40 award. A couple of her fellow BYA finalists were also there: Stayci Keetch and Lynn Ferron.