Tucked away in a little strip mall in Orleans, Christiane’s Bridal has been making women’s dreams come true with customized wedding dresses and gowns. She also alters suits and pants for her male customers.
“I see all kinds of people,” says Christiane Makanda. “I have quite a lot of male customers too”.
For the past 20 years, she’s been sewing for members of her community in Orleans.
Her latest effort is a small fundraiser for the Ottawa Heart Institute. Christiane will design and sew a red dress for the lucky winner of her special raffle. It doesn’t need to be a wedding dress: it can be anything. More importantly, it is custom-made and tailored to your liking.
Purchase a $20 ticket and the winner will receive a custom-made dress by Christiane’s Bridal. All proceeds will go to the Ottawa Heart Institute.
Why the Ottawa Heart Institute?
“I have high blood pressure. It runs in my family. I’m doing this fundraiser to raise awareness of heart disease among African women. In Africa, we don’t have much knowledge about heart health. It isn’t well understood. We suffer from it without changing our habits.”
She admits that when she learned that she had high blood pressure, she didn’t think much of it. She is now taking her heart health into her own hands.
“I’d like to live a few more years. This is why I am doing this fundraiser. If the Heart Institute can help, I am throwing my support behind their cause”.
Buy your ticket at her store at 2701 St. Joseph Boulevard, in Orleans.
February is Heart Month! Support the Ottawa Heart Institute!
by John Fritz, Manager at Yogatown
A few years ago, I stopped breathing in my sleep. I jolted up from bed and clutched my heart. It felt as if someone was running a sword in and out of my chest and I didn’t know what to do. I ended up going through a few tests at the hospital that night, but there were no conclusive results. Wanting to stay active without putting myself at risk for heart problems, I booked my annual checkup with my family doctor.
With a little digging, she noticed I had a heart murmur. We ran some tests and found out that I also had an arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat). At this point, I was referred to The Heart Institute where I spent the next two years going through tests to find the root of the problem. While I was there, the staff was incredible. Being the youngest person among many patients is humbling. The staff always stayed positive and gave me the encouragement to keep living my life. During my time there, I got to see one of the top cardiologists in Canada, Dr. Calum Redpath, who reassured me that I could continue my passion for hot yoga and that my heart would be okay.
Following my healthy diagnosis, I returned for my annual check-up at my doctor’s office. She had me do some deep breathing exercises (identical to the exercises I practice in yoga) and discovered that my breathing was correcting my heartbeat’s rhythm. My yoga practice was healing my heart and soul at the same time.
I am truly grateful for all the excellent work done by The Ottawa Heart Institute. This fundraising event is just one of the many ways for me to say ‘thank you’.
Visit Yogatown, our proud Community Champion for Heart Month. Donate today februaryisheartmonth.com
by Royal Oak
Drop by Ottawa’s favourite local pub and donate to a worthy cause.
Since 1980, the Royal Oak has been pouring perfect pints and serving quality pub food to the citizens of Ottawa. During these 35 years, the 12 Royal Oaks have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities. This February, as part of the annual pub’s fund raising program, the Ottawa Heart Institute has been selected as the benefactor.
Between the 1st to the 14th of February, staff at each pub will be selling paper hearts and heart shaped cookies to support the cause. That’s not all! The Royal Oak Pub Group Corporate Office has committed to match 1 for 1 funds raised at the twelve pubs over the 14 day period.
“Our company is excited to assist in raising funds for heart-focused medical research” says Jonathan Hatchell, Royal Oak Pub Group’s CEO. “The Institute’s work touches many people in our community and it needs to have the support from local businesses such as ours.”
Visit Royal Oak, our proud Community Champion this February. Donate at februaryisheartmonth.com
by Goodfellow Cleaners
Heart disease and other heart-related issues have touched many of Goodfellow Cleaners’ customers, friends and families. That’s why Charles Goodfellow, the owner of Goodfellow Cleaners and his team are ready to give with heart.
Giving back to the Institute is personal.
“I lost two very close friends in the past few years due to separate heart-related issues,” Charles says. “Both of these guys were in good shape and under the age of 46. They played hockey, went to the gym One was a marathon runner. Their deaths happened without any warning. Their deaths hit me hard since they came right at the same time as I was just diagnosed with a heart condition, a tricuspid valve.”
One of his employees’ newborn was born with heart complications and some of his clients’ children have also had their own experience with heart disease. Goodfellow Cleaners offer its’ support to the Heart of Champions annual golf tournament and recent Spooktacular Halloween Bowlathon for CHEO. The event raises money and awareness for children born with congenital heart disease who will one day transition to cardiac care at the Heart Institute.
Little hearts need big hearts – Charles Goodfellow lent his recent support to the Heart of Champions’ Spooktacular Halloween Bowlathon for CHEO. Photo credit: Jeff Gilchrist
All of these elements combined make Charles and his team of 25 employees both sensitive and active in reaching out to customers impacted by heart health. It’s also the reason they are ready to offer up discounts to those who donate during ‘heart month’.
“I’m fortunate that I have received the very best of care and monitoring from everyone at the Heart Institute. They are amazing. Now I’m actually in the best health of my life – but they still monitor me. I have such respect and a deep commitment and devotion to doing whatever we can as a business to help.”
Give with heart and get a discount!
Donate to the Heart Institute and receive 10% off your dry cleaning and shirt laundry services at all Goodfellow Cleaners’ locations for the month of February. Please bring in your proof of donation (any amount) to get your discount. *This offer excludes repairs, alterations, cleaning of suede, leather and cleaning of carpet and drapes.
February is heart month! Many organizations are doing their share to raise awareness about heart disease and heart health. This February, several Pharmasaves and TD Barrhaven on Strandherd will be selling paper hearts that will be tagged onto each of their stores’ windows. The campaigns last throughout the whole month of February.
Here are the participating Pharmasave locations: Victoria, Westboro, Kanata, St-Laurent, West Carleton and Paul’s in Manotick.
We heart our vibrant and generous community!