Shaw Centre is a favoured venue for charitable events and the annual Ringside for Youth fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa has long been one of the most exciting. Everyone at the Shaw Centre is proud to help organizations such as this, delight guests while meeting important financial objectives.
Held at the Shaw Centre since 2013, the 25th edition of Ringside for Youth on June 6, 2019 was bittersweet as it was the final edition for an event that has raised over 3.5 million dollars to support programs for youth in need across the city. Billed as a must-attend event for the business community Ringside for Youth attracts 1,200 guests annually, selling out every year. It is also considered one of the best networking opportunities of the year, with Canada Hall filling up quickly as well-dressed guests mingled and sipped cocktails while the sun streamed in through the windows into the Parliament Foyer, the area just outside of Canada Hall, and features a spectacular view of Parliament Hill.
As always, Ringside for Youth featured an exceptional meal, paired with fine wines. This year, executive chef Patrick Turcot and his team outdid themselves, serving up creative fare that garnered rave reviews from those in attendance. Appetizers included plated individual antipasti, featuring spicy genoa salami, grilled chorizo and hot capicola ham, marinated olives, pepperoncini peppers, house-pickled vegetables and fresh truffle Canadian burrata with a balsamic reduction. The main course featured beef tenderloin with a Mrs. McGarrigle’s maple mustard crust and natural jus reduction, lemon-thyme seared prawns, creamy roasted polenta and market vegetables. The big finish was a sweet tooth platter including cake pops, dipped mini double chocolate cookies and basil-marinated summer strawberries. “We wanted to showcase Canadian ingredients in unique ways while delivering a meal as upscale and fun as this special event,” noted Chef Turcot.
The fundraising components of Ringside for Youth included a lavish silent auction and a Knock-Out draw featuring a $10,000 grand prize. Ottawa’s Cooper Brothers, longtime performers at Ringside for Youth, delighted everyone with their lively performance and witty banter. The evening’s emcee was Angelo Tsarouchas, a successful Canadian actor and comedian known as ‘the funny Greek’. Local celebrity and former CTV Morning Live host Kurt Stoodley served as the ring announcer and American boxer ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosely was this year’s special guest.
The highlight of the evening was a series of spectacular matches featuring amateurs from Ottawa’s Beaver Boxing Club as well as boxers from Mexico, Montreal, New York and Puerto Rico. With production values rivaling a Vegas show, the competitors – welcomed by the Ottawa Redblacks cheer and dance team – entered the elevated ring through a plume of smoke, amid a dazzling light show and pulsing music.
“It was an honor to be a part of the final Ringside for Youth,” says event manager Jason Edwards. “Nights like this are special, when you get to take a step back from your job and take it all in. It’s an entertaining event but most importantly we’re raising money for children of need in our city. It’s a great feeling.”
Since 1923, the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa has grown to serve more than 4,500 children and youth each year, providing a free, safe haven including after-school clubs, recreational, music and athletic programs offered at seven clubhouses in Ottawa and at summer camp. Having fun is key, but so is building positive relationships and developing solid life skills, while also learning about giving back to the community. Everyone at Shaw Centre is proud to play a role in helping the club raise funds to continue its important work.