It’s hard to believe nearly four years have passed since the inaugural Spurs & Sparkles, which, despite being a huge success right out of the gate, had to take a break during the pandemic. “We’re beyond thrilled to have it return,” says organizing committee co-chair Catherine McLaughlin.
Her family owns Terlin Construction, a full-service construction and general contracting company led by her husband, Terry McLaughlin. Terlin Construction is also among the major sponsors of Spurs & Sparkles.
It’s important to support QCH, a hospital that’s facing tremendous population growth in the west end of Ottawa, as well as an aging demographic, said Catherine, while stressing how the act of helping others is one of her family’s guiding principles. “Service to others — that’s our mantra.”
Catherine said she’s particularly happy to be back in the saddle to co-chair the fundraiser with Karen Sparks, Executive Director of Wesley Clover Parks and a former Board Member of QCH Foundation. “I just love working with that woman; she’s a powerhouse.”
The evening will not only raise money and awareness for QCH but also will boost the profile of show jumping, a competitive sport that has fueled the athletic passion of both Sparks and McLaughlin’s 19-year-old daughter, Charlotte. Charlotte is studying at Auburn University in Alabama, where she’s a member of the women’s six-time national champion equestrian team.
When it comes to fundraisers, Spurs & Sparkles is unique. “It’s a really cool way to introduce more people to show jumping, and it’s just an awesome way to raise money for a hospital that we care deeply about,” said Catherine.
One of the event highlights is the friendly competition that pairs business leaders and local celebrities with show jumpers. Teams compete in a circuit that includes an equestrian component (performed by show jumpers only), the advancing of a ball down the field with a hockey stick, and the navigation of a golf cart to the finish line. The teams are timed, with the winner selected based on speed, skill and degree of fun, said Catherine. Terlin Construction, winners of the 2019 event, will be back to defend its title.
The festivities will continue under the giant party tent with food and drink stations. There will also be music, allowing partygoers to dance the night away under the stars. The online auction will be open for bidding a couple weeks before August 21 and will close during Spurs & Sparkles.
The event is guaranteed to be a hot ticket, so we encourage you to get your tickets early and use your extra time to pull together a fabulous outfit, keeping in mind that the theme is sparkles. “During COVID, we had people telling us they had their sparkly outfits ready,” said Catherine with a laugh. “We are so excited that we’re able to return and showcase this really cool event.”
Tickets are $175 each or $1,650 for a block of 10 tickets. For more information about the event including sponsorship opportunities, or to purchase tickets, please check the Spurs & Sparkles website.