It was the perfect Sunday in Ottawa to be stomping grapes, making pasta, flipping pizza dough, and raising money for cancer research. The 2009 La Vendemmia Grape Stomp brought out hundreds of people looking to do their part in raising money for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation by dipping their toes in a barrel full of cold grapes.
Since 1997, La Vendemmia has been Ottawa 's Celebration of Italian Wine & Food held in the heart of Little Italy, Preston Street. On Sunday, September 20th, 2009, hundreds of locals kept the tradition alive by partaking in traditional Italian activities.
Those in attendance included Mayor Larry O'Brien, MP Jim Watson, Stuntman Stu, and the always entertaining master of ceremonies, A-Morning's Bill Welychka. All of which spent their morning squishing grapes and mingling with the hundreds in attendance.
Bleachers were set up for the grape stomping event at the Adult High School on Preston Street, where 36 teams competed in a series of timed events.
With the recent street reconstruction taking place along Preston Street, it was a heart-warming surprise to see so many people in the community showing their support for the area and for cancer research. This year's event saw a drastic increase in participation, as more and more people in the Ottawa region have heard about this one of kind event.
"Last year we saw 25 teams participate," said Tara Beechey, Event Manager of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. "We were fortunate enough to see 36 teams sign up this year, and over $12,000 was raised!"
The Marketing Breakthroughs team (pictured above) was also in attendance to help do their part for cancer research. These hard working stompers were able to raise $890 for the cause.
For a listing of all the results and participants, visit Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation's 2009 Grape Stomp page.