byline: Jennifer Campbell
Innovative fundraising auction benefits area groups
If you've got the money, 20 Ottawa executives have the time.
Executives on Auction, one of the city's most innovative charity projects, has launched its fourth auction, with an impressive list of chief executives who will devote several hours of time to the highest bidder. Need a little face time with Jozef Straus, president and chief executive of JDS Uniphase? Or how about an afternoon on the links with Coralie Lalonde, chief executive of the venture capital firm Katsura Investments?
"It's quite an innovative use of advanced technology for charity," said John Reid, president of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, a spokesman for the auction and an executive for auction.
Mr. Reid time has been auctioned off in the past, and he's always found the experience to be a positive one for business networking.
The auction itself has changed slightly. It allows the executive to name their own charities. The money collected from the highest bid for Mr. Straus' time, for example, will go to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
The cash from Ms. Lalonde's bid will go to the original charity Compassion in Action.
Since John Ernst, an Ottawa marketing consultant, started the event two summers ago, it has raised more than $20,000 for Compassion in Action, a group that researches and educates about fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Last fall, Mr. Ernst talked to them about spreading the money around and they liked the idea.
The original auction activity was an afternoon of golfing at the Canadian Golf & Country Club. But over the years, Mr. Ernst has added other diversions, including National Arts Centre performances, Ottawa Senators hockey games, and whitewater kayaking. Usually the executive chooses the activity, but Mr. Ernst said organizers are willing to work with bidders and the executives to find a "mutually acceptable" time and activity. The tickets or green fees are donated by the sponsoring locations.
In an effort to appeal to the high-tech community from which the auction was born, all the bidding is done virtually at www.executivesonauction.com. Bidders can click on their favourite executive and then place their bids. The bidding ends on a fixed date.
From its beginnings in Ottawa, the auction has expanded to Montreal and Toronto. All three auctions are linked through one site.
Bidding ends April 25.
Photo caption: Shirley Westeinde of Westeinde COnstruction is up for auction, with money raised to benefit Compassion in Action.
Table as presented: