OCA’s Hard Hats Who Care event raises thousands for three Ottawa charities

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The Ottawa Construction Association (OCA)’s first Hard Hats Who Care networking event on Sept. 23 has raised several thousand dollars for three Ottawa charities.

During the event at the Prescott Hotel, based on the model of the 100 Men Who Care initiative, three local charities received the opportunity to ‘sell’ themselves in a short five minute pitch to the assembled audience.

Members then dropped their donations into one of three ballot boxes.

The participating charities included Habitat for Humanity GO (Greater Ottawa), Live Work Play, and Innovative Community Support Services (ICSS)

Rebecca Chamberland, adult community participation manager at ICSS, said her organization received $1,300, “which is fantastic.”

“We believe that this is a good event and that smaller local charities can certainly benefit from the OCA’s large membership,” she said. She added she hopes to invite the association to other fund-raising events.

Meanwhile, Habitat GO chief executive officer Alexis Ashworth said the organization is “honoured to be one of the first charities chosen by OCA” for the charity program.

“The members of OCA have been phenomenal supporters of our builds before this event, and generously donated $2,000 during the evening. We are so grateful for the support of OCA president John DeVries, chairman Tony Sottile, and their strong construction community in building our Habitat GO homes.”

Sottile initiated the project in February when he said one of his goals for his year as the association’s chair would be to “raise awareness and channel industry support for the numerous smaller grassroots local charitable causes.”

“I believe that we have an ability to strike a balance between long-term charitable commitments and connecting with local charities,” he wrote in the association’s Construction Comment magazine in March. “With a membership of some 1,100, we have power in numbers! If we simply gave two or three hundred dollars each we would have hundreds of thousands of dollars dedicated to the local causes. By presenting a choice to the membership of which charities we donate to, we can create a bond between you and the community. You will be able to say that not only did the OCA donate to a cause but ‘I’ donated.”

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