Diplomacy in all its elegance benefits the National Capital Region’s Children’s Wish Foundation

| January 5, 2014 | 0 Comments
Former governor general Michaëlle Jean takes to the dance floor with Zambian High Commissioner Bobby M. Samakai, President, Ottawa Diplomatic Association.

Former governor general Michaëlle Jean takes to the dance floor with Zambian High Commissioner Bobby M. Samakai, President, Ottawa Diplomatic Association.

It’s one of the Ottawa Diplomatic Association’s most elegant events of the year and also one of its best networking opportunities.
The annual black-tie diplomatic ball has become such a popular event that it sold out three weeks beforehand. The ball began in 2011 as the brainchild of former Zambian high commissioner Nevers Mumba, as a way to connect the diplomatic, business and political communities of Ottawa and allow diplomats to talk business and politics in a relaxed setting. Mr. Mumba also felt it was a chance for diplomats to take a break from their busy schedules and have some fun with their colleagues.

From left, Vivian Monteith with his wife, Jamaican High Commissioner Sheila Sealy Monteith; Barbados High Commissioner Edward Evelyn Greaves with his wife, Francilia Greaves; Bahamas High Commissioner Calsey W. Johnson with his wife, Dulcena; Florence Liautaud with her husband, Haitian Ambassador Frantz Liautaud.

From left, Vivian Monteith with his wife, Jamaican High Commissioner Sheila Sealy Monteith; Barbados High Commissioner Edward Evelyn Greaves with his wife, Francilia Greaves; Bahamas High Commissioner Calsey W. Johnson with his wife, Dulcena; Florence Liautaud with her husband, Haitian Ambassador Frantz Liautaud.

A newer mission of the ball is to find a way for the diplomatic community as a whole to make a contribution to its host country, Canada, by giving some of its proceeds to a Canadian charity. This year’s recipient is the national capital region’s Children’s Wish Foundation and the organizing committee has worked in collaboration with the charity’s board chairman, Ian Smith, who collected enticing items for a silent auction. Half of the proceeds from the silent auction will go to the charity.

The Children’s Wish Foundation was the ball’s chosen charity this year. From left, Joy Noonan, board member;  Councillor Mathieu Fleury, board member; Julie Thibeault, board member; Ian F. Smith, chair of the board; Anthony Woods, board member; wish child Ashley Lawrence, Sue Walker, Ottawa chapter director; and Ashley’s family — Megan, Doug and Lisa Lawrence.

The Children’s Wish Foundation was the ball’s chosen charity this year. From left, Joy Noonan, board member; Councillor Mathieu Fleury, board member; Julie Thibeault, board member; Ian F. Smith, chair of the board; Anthony Woods, board member; wish child Ashley Lawrence, Sue Walker, Ottawa chapter director; and Ashley’s family — Megan, Doug and Lisa Lawrence.

“We are honoured to be part of the ball for two reasons,” said Mr. Smith, who is also a protocol adviser at Ottawa City Hall. First, he said, it helps to be involved for purposes of awareness.
“We want to be able to reach out to the multicultural communities of Ottawa to let them know about our services and the diplomatic community is a good way to do that,” Mr. Smith said.
Second, he said, the foundation sometimes needs to enlist the help of an embassy to make a child’s wish come true, whether it’s for travel visas or for something more material that the embassy may be able to facilitate.
“That helps to make the diplomats feel that they’re really part of the community,” he said.

Former governor general Michaëlle Jean with her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, with Habiba Chakir, Vice-President, Ottawa Diplomatic Association

Former governor general Michaëlle Jean with her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, with Habiba Chakir, Vice-President, Ottawa Diplomatic Association

 

Ball chairwoman and ODA vice-president Habiba Chakir said that, between Mr. Smith and the ODA, they collected $30,000 worth of items for the silent auction. In total, the ball raised $13,000, $6,500 of which went to the wish foundation.

Yemeni Ambassador Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah and his wife, Rima.

Yemeni Ambassador Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah and his wife, Rima.

Ball-goers, including former chief of defence staff Rick Hillier (at right), peruse silent auction items.

Ball-goers, including former chief of defence staff Rick Hillier (at right), peruse silent auction items.

Dancing diplomats: From left, Zimbabwean Ambassador Florence Chideya gets down with Indonesian Ambassador Dienne Moehario and Tanzanian High Commissioner Alex Massinda.

Dancing diplomats: From left, Zimbabwean Ambassador Florence Chideya gets down with Indonesian Ambassador Dienne Moehario and Tanzanian High Commissioner Alex Massinda.

 

 

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