Ottawa accountants got the chance to shed their reputation as cautious, risk-averse beancounters while hosting their popular Grand Casino: Betting Against Cancer charity event.
Welch LLP, an Ottawa-based, full-service public accounting firm, and several hundred of their closest friends were back at the Shaw Centre on Friday night to gamble (and hopefully win) in support of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
The fundraiser fell on the same night as Ottawa’s premier business gala, the Best Ottawa Business Awards, at the Westin. The BOBs night was originally slated for late November but had to be bumped up due to the limited availability of a key award recipient. On the bright side, the two events were only a hop, skip and jump away from each other, so many gala-goers were able to flit between the Shaw Centre and the Westin.
Attendees of the Grand Casino night each received $500 in funny money, or "Welch dollars", to use at various gambling tables and toward the purchase of raffle tickets.
Proceeds were to be directed toward the cancer foundation’s unique coaching program to help people in the community whose lives have been touched by cancer, as well as its Return to Work program for cancer survivors.
Heading back to the office can be challenging, particularly when one is experiencing brain fog, fatigue and other side effects of chemotherapy, Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation vice president John Ouellette told OBJ.social.
The Return to Work program provides the necessary education and support to help cancer survivors create and implement a plan for themselves, so that they can get back to work and resume a productive lifestyle.
In the past, the casino night has raised a net total of between $30,000 and $40,000 each year for the cancer foundation. "We hope to continue this partnership for many years," said Ouellette.
WelchGroup Consulting president Candace Enman, who’s on the board of directors at the cancer foundation, was also among the 400-plus people in attendance.
Welch LLP managing partner Micheal Burch was on hand to welcome guests and sponsors to the party, which was organized by the firm’s marketing team. Deserving of a special mention was Kyle Turk, the firm’s director of marketing and communications. “Kyle was instrumental in starting all of this,” said Burch, referring to the casino night.
Alas, it was with great regret that Burch announced Turk was leaving Welch at the end of the year. The 2018 Forty Under 40 recipient is joining one of Ottawa’s fastest-growing companies, Keynote Group, a human resources and recruiting firm, as its vice president of marketing. Keynote Group's CEO and co-founder, James Baker, was at the event.
There was also a silent auction. It featured such items as a private brewery tour for 20 with Brew Donkey and an acoustic guitar signed by famed Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Cuddy and his band, who gave a stellar performance at Welch LLP's 100-year birthday bash in September, at the National Gallery of Canada.