Kiwanis Fund Raising History

Since 1917 the Club has used a wide range of fund raisers to generate the funds need so support our many Community Service Projects. Here are a few of the multi year fund raisers run by the Club:

  • The Kiwanis TV Auction: One of the most visible fund raisers for the Club was the TV Auction that ran for 30 years. The Kiwanis TV Auction which ran each year for a whole day at TV station CJOH. Items were solicited for an entire year from local businesses and these items were sold on Auction day with as many as 150 members and their families helping out; the largest amount netted with this project was $220,000 with over $400,000 worth of products. Unfortunately, when CJOH downsized and closed down their large studio we had to end this great project.
  • The Kiwanis Duck Race for Tiny Hearts at CHEO: The best known event for the Kiwanis Clubs of the Ottawa area was the Duck Race for CHEO. Local Kiwanis Clubs would race up to 100,000 rubber ducks down the Rideau Canal each spring. The event ran from over 20 years, ending in 2003. To close out the race's history, the Kiwanis Clubs of the Ottawa area donated and additional $1,000,000 to finance the Kiwanis Cardiac Unit at CHEO.
  • The Benefit Dinner: The Annual Kiwanis Benefit dinner raised about $150,000 each year with a must attend event in Ottawa. The event ran for 37 years, ending in 1998 with an event at the Corel Centre in conjunction with the Ottawa Senators. 
  • Soup Kitchen Live: Over the 5-year period of the annual event from 1985 to 1990, with the help of the community, our club raised over $300,000 in cash and food for the Ottawa Food Bank. The live music event on on Rideau street featured different artists everyday for a week.
  • Partners in Caring: The Club partnered with the Ottawa Senators to sell tickets to Sens games, and ran from 2001 to 2015 and raised over $200,000 for the Club and the Sens Foundation.
  • Lottery Calendar for ACT: The ACT Foundation is responsible for the introduction of CPR into the high school curriculum in Ottawa, the Ontario, then across Canada. Because of this program, every grade 9 student learns CPR, and a significant number of lives have been saved because of it. The Club provided the initial $60,000 in funding for the CPR mannequins by selling lottery calendars for 5 years.
  • Bon Appetit Silent Auction: The Bon Appetit food event in Ottawa gave a chance for local restaurants to show off their wares and a fun event, and the Club ran a silent auction as part of that event. Over the 15 year history of the event over $600,000 was raised for Club projects.
  • The Kiwanis Fashion Show: This special evening showcased current fashions for both ladies and mens wear along with some wonderful accessories. The event ran for 13 years from 2003 to 2016 and raised about $150,000 for the community.
  • Night at the Races: The Kiwanis Medical Foundation ran a fund raising night at the Rideau Carleton Raceway, with fund raised through meal ticket sales as well as the sponsorship of races. The event ran for over 10 years, each year raising about $25,000 for the Foundation.

In addition to the fund raisers, the Club has run many, many one time fund raisers, here are just a few:

  • Grace Hospital Building Fund: In 1918 the Club received a request from the Salvation Army for assistance and pledged itself to raise the $40,000 required towards the construction of the Grace Hospital on Wellington Street. The $40,000 commitment was oversubscribed! In 1967 our club contributed another $25,000 to help build a new addition to the Grace Hospital.
  • Max Keeping Roast: Max was a legend in Ottawa for the amount of time and love he gave to the community, and the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa was proud to have him as an honourary member. Max was at all the our Duck Races, TV auctions and Bed Race events. in 2004 the Club ran a Newfie style roast with Max at the head table, it was quite an event.
  • Grey Cup Parties and welcome back for the Renegades and the Red Blacks: The Club has alway had ties with football in Ottawa, with a number of former players becoming members. So when the Grey Cup was held in Ottawa, the Club threw a party. Some stories can not be told on the web site. In addition, the Club threw significant welcome back events for both the Renegades and the Red Blacks.
  • Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins fund raiser: In 1948, John Wilkinson invited the Boston Bruins Hockey Team to come to Ottawa and play a benefit game against the Ottawa Senators:. The game was held at the old Auditorium with a full house and $964 was raised for the club's Welfare Account; of this amount, $250 was donated that night to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The club paid the Boston Bruins $1019. to come to Ottawa, wonder what they would charge us today?