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Casino Royale Fundraiser

OTTAWA-You only live twice, giving all the more reason to live it up at a James Bond-themed fundraising party hosted Friday by British High Commissioner Andrew Pocock and his wife, Julie. The sold-out, $500-a-ticket night saw 100 guests toss their keys to the valet and head into the high commissioner’s Earnscliffe residence to play roulette and craps with fake money while enjoying drinks and fancy party food served with a dry ice London fog effect. Three-time Juno Award-winning singer Susan Aglukark was the featured act at the fundraiser, which netted $55,000 for Project North, a not-for-profit organization that provides hockey equipment to Inuit children living in the north. Lawyer and charity auctioneer Lawrence Greenspon worked his magic, selling off such desirable items as a Pond Inlet sea kayaking expedition and Tahiti cruise. All the guests came as fictional Bond characters. Retiring bank executive Dennis Jackson was Goldfinger with his ounce of Scotiabank gold and gold-painted fingernails. Borden Ladner Gervais managing partner Marc Jolicoeur, who did pro bono work for Project North, was the poker-playing Felix Leiter. Ottawa’s new police chief, Chuck Bordeleau, seemed pretty agreeable as Dr. No. I’ve always wanted to stand in front of a huge crowd with a martini glass in hand, Pocock told the room in his welcome speech. And, to utter the immortal words: The name is Bond, Brooke Bond.  That’s a kind of tea.  In attendance was Project North honorary chair Laureen Harper, who started a running joke by thanking the Pococks for lending us your beautiful house, even though it was owned by a Canadian first, Sir John A. Macdonald.  Photographer Michelle Valberg is the president of Project North, with travel consultant Leslie Coates and Jeff Turner, a senior director with United Way Ottawa, as vice-presidents. Project North donated a $10,000 bursary, to be government-matched, to Algonquin College president Robert Gillett to help Inuit children coming down from Nunavut to study. The money will go into a new endowment fund named after Valberg. By Caroline Phillips – The Ottawa Citizen Read more

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