Maharaja’s Ball the stuff of Dreams
The third floor of the Convention Centre was turned into a princely palace Saturday as 620 gala goers journeyed back to a time when India’s legendary rulers lived it up in ostentatious style.
The Maharaja’s Ball raised more than $100,000 for the Sens Foundation’s Rink of Dreams project to build outdoor rinks for kids.
“It’s like we’ve come full circle,” organizing committee chairman and Ottawa dentist Nalin Bhargava told
Around Town. The idea for the India-themed gala started in a locker-room, post-hockey practice. Bhargava pitched it to teammates Raj Narula from Haveli restaurant and lawyer Lawrence Green
spon. Four galas later, the evening remains a highlight of Ottawa’s social calendar.
Mayor Jim Watson and India’s high commissioner,
Shashishekhar M. Gavai, got the ball rolling with the lighting of the ceremonial lamps. The evening continued with a delicious Indian meal from Haveli, a dance performance by a troupe from India, and an auction led by a turban-wearing Greenspon.
Many ladies ditched the ubiquitous black gown for festive saris. Hill & Knowlton senior executive Goldy Hy
der captured subtle elegance in his sherwani while KPMG partner Mahesh Mani opted for black tie. Sens Foundation president Danielle
Robinson looked exotic in her custom-made sari. It was brought from India by Neha Bhargava, who co-MCed the
gala with Steve Madely and Carole Anne Meehan.
Also seen were various executives from presenting
sponsor TD, including Doug
Feasby, and Nalin’s former dentistry school buddy,
Dr. Michael Saso, a dental anesthesia specialist and sponsor. The luckiest guest was
Nathan Smith from Cushman & Wakefield. Last June, he won a Fiat car at the Malhotras’ charity golf tournament. At the gala, he joked with Romina Malhotra, wife of Claridge Homes’ Bill
Malhotra, about whether good fortune would strike again. It did. He won the raffle prize of a Rolex watch from Jubilee Fine Jewelers.
Luxury trips, fine art and wine and celebrity dinners made for some spending envy at Opera Lyra’s “ Puttin’
on the Glitz” Diva Auction held Friday at the Convention Centre. Retired Lt. Gen. Andrew
Leslie and his wife, Karen, co-chaired the gala, which raised more than $100,000. The evening also included dinner and dancing for the 300-person crowd and the raffle prize of a Holland America cruise.
In keeping with the glamour theme, Karen donned an ostrich feather smoke ring from Earlene’s House of Fashion while her daughter, Erica, 25, a graduate student at Carleton U’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, looked anything but the reservist artillery officer that she is in an off-the-shoulder dress. Seen were power couples
Denise Amyot, head of the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corp., with her Public Works deputy minister husband François Gui-
mont, and National Defence deputy minister Rob
ert Fonberg with his wife, Transport deputy minister
Yaprak Baltacioglu. Also
sighted were Sakto’s Sean
and Jamilah Murray, philanthropist Shirley Greenberg, Mayor (and MC) Jim Watson, and special events
chair Patti Blute. Sarah Jennings was willing to have her vintage 1979 Austin Mini auctioned off to support the cause, if the bidding price was right. The spiffy red car was parked in the lobby for guests to view on their way to the gala.
HOPE THROUGH HOPEWELL
On Tuesday, former winter and summer Olympian Sue
Holloway opened up about her daughter’s recent struggle with an eating disorder.
Sarah Joy lost more than 60 pounds while away on a full volleyball scholarship at an American university.
“We had no idea what to do,” Holloway told her audience at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club during a dinner, auction and fashion show for the Hopewell Eating Disorder Support Centre. “I held my grown daughter in my arms like she was a fragile little bird, afraid that if I hugged her too hard she would break.”
Holloway turned to Hopewell for help. Her daughter has completed a
treatment program at The Ottawa Hospital and is now studying at the University of Ottawa.
Joy, 21, was one of the celebrity models, along with her skier and paddler sister,
Alexandra, 17, and Olympic silver medallist father, Greg
Models donned custommade designs by Frank
Sukhoo, as well as clothes from Harry Rosen and Schadblü, and coats from Pat Flesher Furs, whose Stewart
Chadnick gave away fur earmuffs to all 160 guests.
Other models included Mayor Jim Watson and his sister, NAC Foundation CEO
Jayne Watson, with her
daughter, Nicola Froislie, 16; British High Commissioner Andrew Pocock and his
wife, Julie; and the U.S. ambassador’s wife, Julie Jacob
son, with her jewelry-design-
er daughter, Wynne. Lawyer Kevin Phillips pitched in as MC and auctioneer. The evening, chaired by
Terri Hoddinott, grossed more than $80,000.
YOUVILLE AND YOU
Ottawa’s stylish set was back out Thursday for the
Ooh ’n Ahh fashion show presented by Shepherd’s at Ashbury College.
The sold-out event drew 520 women and netted $57,502 for the Youville
Centre, which assists young, single moms, and Dress for Success, which helps low-income women get a job. Shepherd’s Fashions owner
Marlene Shepherd organized the evening with a committee that included Red Wagon graphic designer Julie Dorion (wearing a necklace by Andrea Kolpas
ka) and Dress for Success co-founder Marlene Floyd, who, this past year, won a Y Women of Distinction award, got married, bought a house and made partner at Earnscliffe Strategy Group.
Youville’s new executive director is longtime educator Cindy Simpson, most recently the principal at St. Theresa in Orléans. She took over for Judi Sarginson, who retired after nine years at Youville, preceded by a 38-year career in education. The evening, MCed by
Leanne Cusack, also featured a 120-item silent auction of designer jewelry and clothes, dinner by David
Smith’s Creative Kosher Catering, drinks from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, prizes and a live auction with Mi
CHEO BBQ co-founder Mi- chael Machargo was surprised with a Community Builder Award at United Way’s Schmoozefest, held Thursday at Lago.
Presenter Karen Soloman dropped hints to the large crowd about the mystery recipient (i.e. he used to sport a mullet) until Machargo figured it out.
Machargo has organized the barbecue for the past 19 years, beginning in his grandmother’s backyard with the passing of an empty fishbowl. The event now hosts 1,500 people and has raised nearly $400,000 for CHEO. Why does Machargo do it every year?
“For the free hotdog,” he replied with a grin.
Schmoozefest brought in $22,000 for United Way’s campaign.
From left, Raj Narula of Haveli restaurant, lawyer Lawrence Greenspon and dentist Nalin Bhargava at The Maharaja’s Ball on Saturday at the Convention Centre. The event raised more than $100,000 for the Sens Foundation’s Rink of Dreams.
From left, Ted Blute, Patti Blute, Karen Leslie and Andrew Leslie at Opera Lyra’s Puttin’ on the Glitz Diva Auction, held at the Convention Centre Friday.
Karen Soloman, Michael Machargo, with his Community Builder Award, and United Way CEO Michael Allen at Schmoozefest.
Marlene Floyd, Marlene Shepherd and Julie Dorion at the Ooh ’n Ahh Fashion Show at Ashbury College.
Goldy Hyder, left, sporting his elegant sherwani, and Fatima Hyder and Dr. Michael Saso at the ball.
From left, Mahesh Mani, Deepali Mani, Supriya Bhargava and Dr. Anuj Bhargava at the Maharaja’s Ball.
Judi Sarginson, left, and Cindy Simpson at the Ooh ’n Ahh Fashion Show.
Hopewell models British High Commissioner Andrew Pocock and wife Julie.
Sarah Joy, Sue Holloway, Alexandra Joy and Greg Joy at Hopewell event.
Designer Frank Sukhoo and Hopewell event chairwoman Terri Hoddinott.
Stewart Chadnick and wife Lori at the Hopewell fashion show.
Mayor Jim Watson with niece Nicola Froislie, 16, and sister Jayne Watson at Hopewell fundraiser.
Erica Leslie, Sean Murray and Jamilah Murray at the Diva Auction.
Kevin Robinson and Sens Foundation president Danielle Robinson.
Patti Feasby and Doug Feasby at the Maharaja’s Ball.
François Guimont and Denise Amyot at Puttin’ on the Glitz.
Nathan Smith, with wife Cindy and Rolex he won at the ball.