Thanks for supporting the children and youth of Ottawa!
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We know! We know!  It has been a long time since you have last heard from us and we deeply apologize.  It certainly does not mean that things have been slow around here lately.  In fact, having just completed our busy fundraising event season and many months full of exciting and interesting programs, we have lots to catch up on!

A new name for BGCO's west end location

It is with great pride that the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa officially renamed its Britannia location, the Ron Kolbus Clubhouse prior to the BGCO Breakfast in May.  Thanks to the generous support from Mike McGahan and the CLV Group, we are proud to honour one of Ottawa's great community leaders.  Ron Kolbus was a beloved City Councillor, former Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Director and executive at CLV Group.  He was a firm believer that good business doesn't end in the boardroom, it continues into our communities.  He always felt that the giving of time and dollars to those in need was of the utmost importance to help our communities become better places to live and grow.  The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa is proud to honour Ron Kolbus in this manner for his dedication to ensuring that children and youth in our community have a safe and supportive place to go.

Skiers conquer the cold and the slopes to raise over $130K at Charity Skiathon

Skiers and supporters alike hit the slopes of Mont Tremblant on March 3 and 4 to help raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa's Physical Activity and Healthy Lifestyle Programs.  The -15 degree weather did nothing to deter the group of BGCO youth who were joined by Canadian Olympian Brian Stemmle for a chilly day of wintery fun, some experiencing skiing for the very first time.  By the end of the day, mountains were mastered and over $130K was raised to upgrade BGCO's out-of-date kitchen at our Ron Kolbus Clubhouse.  These much-needed renovations will help maximize the healthy snacks after-school program.  Special thanks to the organizing committee, sponsors and volunteers who made this event such a success!.

Recognition of outstanding leadership at BGCO Breakfast

What better way to celebrate outstanding leadership than to assemble some of Ottawa's greatest political, business and community leaders for an hour of inspiration?  On Thursday, May 5th, that is exactly what happened at BGCO's 7th Annual Breakfast held at the newly named Ron Kolbus Clubhouse.  Distinguished members of the Ottawa community were treated to a jam-packed agenda of inspiration and stellar examples of leadership in our clubhouses and community.  

After a brief video introduction from Madame Sophie Gregoire, BGCO Members Ashley and Colin took to the stage to recognize BGCO's hard working youth and highlight the Club's life-changing leadership programs.  Keynote speaker, Bilan, completely wowed the crowd with her recount of the challenges she has faced growing up in a vulnerable neighbourhood, one of seven children to a single mother and how the Club has provided her with a safe and supportive place to realize her full potential.  

This year, the Breakfast also took on a more interactive feel as special guest, Graham Richardson from CTV News at 6 interviewed three of BGCO's Leaders-4-Life members.  After hearing how Cody values the life skills he has acquired through his participation in BGCO's sports programs and how Lynda and Hayat both recognize the support they have received with their schooling through BGCO's Homework Club and scholarship opportunities, it is clear that the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa is helping build the leaders of tomorrow.  Thank you to all those who attended and supported the BGCO Breakfast!

BGCO Members Cody, Lynda and Hayat receive some words of advice from community leader and CTV News at 6 Anchor, Graham Richardson.

Capital One Race for Kids returned for a second year, bigger and better than before!

On Saturday, June 4th, under perfect weather, 52 challenge-seekers headed to Camp Smitty for a day of fun and adventure in the 2nd Annual Capital One Race for Kids. Decked out in themed attire, teams like Costco Wholesale Canada's ‪#Hereforthesamples‬, Canoe Feel the Burn? and local country star Meghan Patrick's Grace and Grit tested their minds, bodies and spirits with ten different checkpoint challenges.

Thanks to checkpoint sponsors Amsted Design-Build, Country 101.1/ Warner Music Canada, Myticas Consulting, Panera Bread, Costco Wholesale Canada, The Better Software Company and Stantec, race participants built ladders, slid down waterslides, walked the plank and shopped til they dropped - all to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa's Camp Smitty.

Be sure to check out the photos from this fun-filled fundraiser on our Facebook page at

Ringside for Youth

The excitement of Rideau Street's sinkhole on June 9th might have sent a wave of panic through the organizing committee of this year's Ringside for Youth event but did not detour the generous spirit of the Ottawa community.  This year's Ringside for Youth XXII raised a staggering net amount of $151,000 and was another huge success in support of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa and Ottawa Beaver Boxing. 

The latest installment of one of Ottawa's elite fundraising events packed a punch as guest celebrity boxer Thomas "Hitman" Hearns captivated the sell out crowd of 1,500, including RFY Presenter Daniel Alfredsson and Ottawa Senators Erik Karlsson and Chris Neil.  Who knew that the man who developed one of the most devastating punches in boxing history could be so funny and charismatic?  Highlights of the evening included a moving video tribute and 10 bell salute to mark the passing of Boys and Girls Club of America alumnus, Muhammad Ali and the ever-popular knockout draw.  Tom Hicks, Ringside for Youth founder and this year's BGCO Volunteer of the Year was presented with his very own boxing robe in recognition for all he has done for this event and the Club.  The evening's excitement continued with several bouts of boxing with amateur boxers from Beaver Boxing and winners declared throughout the night.  Of course, in the end, it is the kids who are the true winners!  Thanks to all those who supported this year's Ringside for Youth XXII event!

Brian Smith Memorial Golf Tournament: Passing of the torch to next year's Camp Smitty Golf Classic on July 18, 2017

Over the last 21 years, the Brian Smith Memorial Golf Tournament has sent 2,640 deserving kids to Camp Smitty by raising an incredible net amount of $2,155,000.  This is an outstanding accomplishment and one that would not have been achieved without the dedication and commitment of Co-Chairs, Jim Cain and Joe Zadzora and the entire organizing committee. 

Honouring the legacy of Brian Smith, helping kids enjoy an unforgettable experience at summer camp, and providing 34 young students with the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education through the Brian Smith Memorial Scholarships, has been the driving force behind what Jim and Joe have accomplished over these past 21 years.  The BGCO would like to recognize their generous support and all the time and energy they've put into helping make a positive difference in the lives of so many deserving children and youth.  Appreciation is also extended to the many committee members, participants and generous sponsors and donors, many who have been involved with the tournament from the start.  As Jim proudly reflects, "I think that Brian would be proud of what has been accomplished in his name", and we couldn't agree more!

Tournament Co-Chairs Joe Zadzora (far left) and Jim Cain (third from left) are presented with a plaque which will hang in the dining hall at Camp Smitty.  Presenting the plaque is BGCO Director of Programs Adam Joiner (second from left) and Board President Graham Macmillan (far right).

As Jim and Joe take their much deserved break and retire from their positions as Co-Chairs, the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa is proud to continue to host Ottawa's must-attend golf tournament of the summer as the Camp Smitty Golf Classic taking place July 18, 2017.

While the names and faces involved may be changing, the cause certainly remains the same: to send deserving children and youth to Camp Smitty so that they may have the opportunity to realize the benefits of the summer camp experience, regardless of financial background.
Please be sure to check our website as we start to finalize the details for the Camp Smitty Golf Classic coming July 18, 2017. If you have been involved with the Brian Smith Memorial Golf Tournament in previous years, we hope we can count on your support for the Camp Smitty Golf Classic. Please contact Jennifer Baca ( or 613-232-0925 EXT. 232) for more information.

Getting to know the 4 Pillars of Programming at Tremblant Charity Classic

The greens of Le Maître Golf Club in Mont Tremblant is the perfect backdrop to a great golf game and to learn about BGCO's four pillars of programming: Creative Arts, Education, Physical Activity/Healthy Lifestyles and Leadership and Social Skills.  

BGCO Members and Staff gear up to spread the word about the 4 pillars of programming at the Tremblant Charity Classic

As golfers made their way through the stunning golf course for the Tremblant Charity Classic, they were enthusiastically greeted by BGCO members willing to speak about the Club's four pillars of programming and how each pillar has made a difference in their lives and those of members Club-wide.  The youth explained how expressing themselves creatively, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, realizing their full potential through homework club and scholarships and gaining valuable life and social skills has positively impacted their lives and allows them to achieve their goals.  Golfers were able to personally relate to each program area and make pledges to financially support their pillar of choice.  This new component of the golf tournament was very well received and highly successful.  Thank you to all golfers, sponsors, organizers and BGCO staff and youth for making this year's tournament a great success!

Camp Smitty: Sold-out summer for the 3rd consecutive season!

Warm summer days are best spent at camp and this summer, a record number of campers enjoyed the summer camp experience at beautiful Camp Smitty.  Each session, hundreds of fun-in-the-sun seekers splashed in the cool waters of Mink Lake, participated in themed camp activities and sports, bonded over camp crafts and sing-a-longs and generally enjoyed time spent in the great outdoors!  We are especially proud to have helped many new families to our Clubs and to Canada find a new home at camp. 

On August 8, hockey fever hit summer camp once again with a visit from the Ottawa Senators Foundation for SENS Campership day at Camp Smitty.  Equipped with a variety of fun inflatables and hockey-related stations, campers were treated to an afternoon of atypical summer camp activities.  Of course, a #SENSCampers visit would not be complete without the appearance of the ever-popular VIP guest, Spartacat!  Special thanks to the Ottawa Senators Foundation for their continued support which enables us to empower children and youth to reach their full potential through recreational and skill development opportunities at Camp Smitty!
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
New location: Ottawa Conference and Event Centre
(100 Conventry Road)

You can help by donating an auction item or attending the event!

Presented by

Opening our hearts and doors to new Canadian families

Carrying out our mission to provide a safe and supportive place where ALL children and youth can experience new opportunities, our Clubhouses have been instrumental in reaching out to welcome new Syrian refugee families to Ottawa.  Recently arrived refugee families have a long road ahead of them as they begin the unfamiliar and arduous resettlement process in our city. So that parents are able to search for jobs or take English classes, our Clubhouses have been welcoming new Syrian refugee children with open arms.  By offering sports and activities to help develop social, cultural and language skills while providing an outlet to let off steam and become engaged in their new Canadian way of life, we are doing our part to help those affected by the Syrian crisis.  Throughout the month of August, in partnership with other organizations like Refugee 613, some locations hosted information sessions and welcome parties showcasing the social services and resources available to new Canadians in our community.  By way of the support from the SENS Camperships program, we are thrilled to have also welcomed over 20 Syrian refugee children to Camp Smitty so that could have the opportunity to experience a truly Canadian part of a summer in Ottawa! 

Walking our Way to Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada

We have some exciting news to share!  After seeing the incredible success of Walk This Way here in Ottawa, growing the program beyond Ottawa soon become a goal for program creator Gavin Lumsden.  Walk This Way takes Members on treks through the city, the country and surrounding points of interest. From walks through parks, quite neighbourhoods and bustling downtown areas, Members get to keep fit and play tourists in their own city.  With a host of interesting places to visit in other Canadian cities, it seemed logical to extend the Walk This Way program on a national levell so that more children and youth become physically active while having fun.  We are thrilled to announce that Gavin's dream will now become a reality.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada have teamed up with Canadian-owned and operated restaurant chain Quesada Burritos & Tacos to raise funds and help expand Walk This Way nationally.  We are so proud to share our Walk This Way program with other Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada clubs and see Members across the country benefit from an active lifestyle. Be sure to visit your local Quesada Burritos & Tacos restaurant on October 18 for #WalkThisWayDay and help promote healthy and active lifestyles among Canada's children and youth.

Want to learn more about Planned Giving? 

Join the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa and six other charities for a
free information session on Friday, September 30th, 2016

The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, in partnership with six other charities, are hosting a special session to provide relevant, accurate information on planned giving and how you can best provide for the people and causes that matter to you most. Guest speaker Elizabeth Lockhart, a barrister and solicitor and mediator practicing in the Ottawa area, will explain the ins and outs of gifting by will and answer any questions you may have.
More and more Canadians recognize the advantages of including a donation to charity in their will. While most people leave the vast majority of their estate to family members, the number who donates a portion to charities that are meaningful to them continues to grow. Typically an intensely personal decision, most choose to gift by will because this final act of kindness will have a tangible impact on the lives of others. We feel good when we know we have helped others.
When updating a will, it can be relatively easy to include a gift to charity, although there are many factors to consider such as the anticipated savings in estate taxes. Donations to charity can also be structured in many different ways: a set amount, for instance, a percentage of the value of one’s total estate, or even a residual amount—whatever’s left over after other items are taken care of.
When people review their estate plans with a professional they are often surprised just how sizable their estate will become once all of their assets—real-estate holdings, life-insurance policies, etc.—have been liquidated. This helps explain why people who gift by will typically leave gifts from their estate to more than one charity, often as many as four charities.
The session is free and includes complimentary on-site parking and a light lunch. We encourage you to register early as seating is limited. RSVP by September 12. You may register by calling 613-232-0925 extension 232 or by sending an email confirmation to

Here are the relevant details:

Date: Friday, September 30, 2016
Time:  9:30 a.m. registration; presentation 10:00-noon followed by a light lunch
Location: Lupton Hall, Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, 1750 Russell Rd.

Participating charities: Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre Foundation, National Arts Centre Foundation, Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, Hospice Care Ottawa, YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa Charitable Foundation and the Ottawa Food Bank.
Copyright © 2016 Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, All rights reserved.

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