El-Chantiry party socks it to ‘em

KINBURN – The councillor’s Christmas Party is a chance for Eli El-Chantiry to get his friends together and have them bring socks.

Coun. El-Chantiry hosted his annual Christmas party last Friday (Dec. 6) at the Kinburn Community Centre and the packed to capacity hall enjoyed the opportunity to mingle with friends and raise a huge pile of donated socks for Savvy Seconds – a clothing consignment store in West Carleton that charges nothing for its stock.

El- Chantiry’s annual party, a function he privately hosts, is one of the highlights of his year. There’s a social hour, dinner, his wife Maha’s famous speech and live music.

There’s also a fundraising aspect as guests were asked to bring and donate new socks to Savvy Seconds.

The guest list was hot, as Mayor Jim Watson, councillors Allan Hubley, Glen Gower and Laura Dudas, former police chief Charles Bordeleau, Ottawa Fire Services District 6 Chief Bill Bell, city manager Steve Kanellakos and several other Ottawa staff, many, many West Carleton community volunteers including Huntley Community Association President Judy Makin and Dunrobin Community Association President Greg Patacairk and lots of other friends and community leaders.

“I was told the mayor was hungry, so we have to expedite things,” El-Chantiry told the roughly 200 in attendance. “I think we have enough socks to supply all of Ottawa.”

Kinburn’s John Shaw led grace and the mayor spoke as well.

“Talk about a hands-on community leader,” Watson said of El-Chantiry referencing the recent floods and tornado. “He rolls up his sleeves and gets the job done. Thank you for keeping me on the invite list. I was worried I was going to get cut.”

Mayor Jim Watson says a few words at Coun. El-Chantiry's party. Photo by Jake Davies
Mayor Jim Watson says a few words at Coun. El-Chantiry’s party. Photo by Jake Davies

And the dinner was amazing. A Lebanese feast prepared by Ottawa community leader Moe Atallah of the Newport Restaurant.

After dinner Maha delivered her now world-renowned keynote address. Rumoured to generally be an opportunity for Mrs. El-Chantiry to knock her betrothed down a few notches, the 2019 speech focused on the hard work her husband does, while many slides, taken from several different angles, of the councillor napping on his couch were shown on the projector.

Before music and dancing took over the event, Savvy Seconds Vera Jones took the opportunity to thank the attendees for their donation – a mini-van full, roughly estimated at more than $1,200 worth, of new socks.

“When people can’t afford the basics, the pressure is on and it can cause a lot of stress,” Jones said. “Your donation of socks is a dream come true. Thank you, Eli and Maha for your support of Savvy Seconds.”

Jones pointed out consignment and nearly new clothing shops don’t accept used socks or underwear. They are highly sought-after garments though, and this huge donation of new socks will be well distributed.

John Shaw says grace before dinner. Photo by Jake Davies
John Shaw says grace before dinner. Photo by Jake Davies