Monday, April 20, 2009

Ottawa Humane Society mourns friend of the animals


 Kurt Waldele and Suzanne Beauchemin at the OHS FurBall March 28, 2009.
Photo: Frank Scheme

Ottawa Humane Society mourns friend of the animals 

20 April, 2009
For immediate release

Everyone at the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is grieving the loss of one of our very best friends — Chef Kurt Waldele.

“The news was definitely a shock,” says OHS Executive Director, Bruce Roney. “Kurt had been very sick, but he managed to put in an appearance at our FurBall at the end of March. Even though he was undergoing treatment, he still exhibited his usual, amazing energy.”

Waldele, who was the former Executive Chef of the National Arts Centre, and a longtime supporter of the OHS, passed away on Saturday.

For almost 10 years, Waldele, along with his wife, Suzanne Beauchemin, hosted a renowned garden party for the OHS at their Cumberland home. The event featured Waldele’s trademark cuisine and was an important fundraiser for the animals of Ottawa.

“Kurt made those parties the ‘must go’ event of the summer,” says Roney. “Their success was due to Kurt’s talent for making a party outstanding.”

Waldele was also a key player in the success of the OHS FurBall Gala that succeeded the garden party, cajoling friends, suppliers and fellow chefs to support the event with donations and sponsorship. He planned and orchestrated menus for two of the five galas, including the recent Casablanca-themed evening, held on March 28 at the National Gallery of Canada. Thanks to Waldele’s involvement, the garden parties and galas raised more than $736,000 for the animals of Ottawa.

“We ran out of ways to thank Kurt for everything he did,” says Roney. “We gave him awards, and I was always writing him thank you notes. Of course, he didn't really care about that stuff — thanks and recognition embarrassed Kurt. He was there for the cause and to do the best job he could, and Kurt's best was amazing.”  

To make a donation in Kurt's memory, please click here.

For media enquiries, contact:
Tara Jackson, Communications Manager
613-725-3166 ext. 261 

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