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Raising funds for MFRC-NCR: Commando Challenge IV and Victory Ball 2016 help raise almost $85,000 for local organization.

THE THEME WAS 'The Silver Screen' and the lavish setting was the famous ballroom at the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa. Approximately 300 guests, attired in the full splendour of evening gowns, mess kits and tuxedos, attended this year's gala dinner.

As with the previous two annual fundraisers, this year's Victory Ball was to raise money in support of the Military Family Resource Centre--National Capital Region (MFRC-NCR). According to organizers, a total of $80,000 was raised through ticket sales, live auction and silent auction. Noted Ottawa philanthropist and owner of Nate's Deli Honorary Colonel Dave Smith was on hand to perform the auctioneering duties while comedian Andy Hendrickson acted as the MC for the evening.

The five-course meal was followed by a late night gourmet poutine bar, so no attendee went home hungry. The music was provided by the Canadian Forces Central Band orchestra and they played a wide variety of musical styles throughout the entire evening. Commodore Mark Watson, the head of Morale and Welfare Services, was the senior serving member in attendance, along with a sizable number of foreign military attaches. Lighting up the dance floor was Colonel Cezary Kiszkowiak, defence attache at the Polish Embassy, and his wife Kinga, who have obviously had more than a few formal lessons.

Esprit de Corps was proud to sponsor a table in support of the noble cause and, more importantly, we had a hell of a lot of fun at the same time!

THE ESPRIT DE CORPS Commandos defeated the General Officers & Flag Officers (GOFOs) by a score of 5-2 to take a commanding lead in the 2016 Commando Challenge, two game series. The January 29 battle on ice was the most competitive game yet between these two squads, with General Jonathan Vance fielding a very strong, hand-picked GOFO team.

Recently recruited Commando goaltender Eric Marolt proved to be the decisive factor in the outcome, robbing the GOFOs blind on numerous occasions. Marolt was named Commando player of the game while goal-scorer Major-General Al Meinzinger took away the top GOFO player award.

A total of five foreign military attaches played in the game as augmentees to both the Commando and GOFO squads. German defence attache Lieutenant-Colonel Ralf Heimrich was named by both teams as the top international player for his strong defensive play for the GOFOs. All three top players received a catalogue courtesy of the Canadian War Museum.

Former CDS General (ret'd) Tom Lawson played in his first game as a Commando against his former team-mates. Scoring two goals, Lawson deservedly won himself the 'Benedict Arnold' trophy, which was presented to him by Vance after the game.

Fans enjoyed free hot dogs courtesy of Nate's Deli, as well as free Beavertails and beverages courtesy of HDT Global. The VIP reception was sponsored by Medistick, which also thoughtfully provided all players with a sample of their pain relief products. The event raised a total of $4,330 for the Military Family Resource Center-National Capital Region (MFRC-NCR).

At the post-game reception, General Vance reluctantly presented Commando team captain Scott Taylor with the newly minted Commando Challenge trophy, crafted from an authentic commando dagger. The second game of the 2016 series will take place in late May, with the GOFOs needing to win by 4 goals if they are to reclaim the coveted prize.

Go to espritdecorps.ca/commando-challenge-iv-2 for more great photos by Richard Lawrence.

photos by Richard Lawrence

Caption: OPPOSITE PAGE: Esprit de Corps was proud to support Victory Bail 2016. Seated: Katherine Taylor and Scott Taylor. Standing (L-R): Garham Mahfouz, Joanne Pitkin, Adam Peace, Bianca Oran, Doug Thomas, Julie Simoneau, Tiffany Taus. (COURTESY UNPOSED) CLOCKWISE FROM TOP OF PAGE: Esprit de Corps Commandos and GOFOs post-game. CDS Gen Vance presents the Benedict Arnold Award to former CDS General Tom Lawson. Over $4300 was raised for the MFRC-NCR Commando Challenge IV. Scott Taylor rushes the puck up the ice. (CAROLINE PHILLIPS, OTTAWA CITIZEN) Guests dance to the beat of the Canadian Forces Central Band during the 2016 Victory Ball. HCol Dave Smith serves as auctioneer. The crowd applauds the dance demonstration by MGen Daniel Benjamin and spouse Marjolaine Lagace. (BALL PHOTOS BY CPL PIERRE HABIB, DND)

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Title Annotation:IN THE NEWS
Author:Durnbrooke, Newell
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Date:Mar 1, 2016
Words:708
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