Paul Schnittker, Omid McDonald, Foundation Managing Director Al Roberts and Foundation Chair Rob Scott toured the production space at the Almonte Plaza

The Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor Foundation has received a $10,000 donation thanks to the generosity of three different businesses coming together to help out with COVID relief.

In early March, Omid McDonald was in the midst of setting the ‘spirits world’ on its ear with his award-winning Diary Distillery VODKOW when the pandemic started to really pick up steam.  Like many craft distillers, McDonald was quick to realize that their alcohol, made from fermented milk, could also be used to manufacture hand sanitizer, a commodity that was becoming more and more in demand.  Diary Distillery’s current facility on Industrial Avenue in Almonte was already spoken for with large vats fermenting the alcohol.  Where could he set up a bottling and shipping location from which to move a new and different product?

Enter Paul Schnittker, a well-known real estate agent in the area, who McDonald enlisted to locate some potential spaces.  Schnittker brought together McDonald and David Osypowich, from Elm Development the property managers of the Almonte Plaza, to see what might be possible. Although Osypowich wasn’t initially interested in a short-term lease, he agreed to take on the new tenant because of the nature of the business and its importance in this unprecedented period for health care.

Not only did the three businessmen strike a deal about space to bottle and ship the hand sanitizer, but they also decided that lease payments and the real estate commission would be donated to the Almonte General Hospital.

“The whole thing has been a win, win, win,” said McDonald.  The product has been flying out the shipping bay doors.  McDonald really feels that people like having a secure, local supply made with quality, socially responsible ingredients.  They have provided over 30,000 bottles of sanitizer ($50,000 worth) to groups across the Ottawa Valley (including the Almonte General Hospital).

Schnittker was thrilled to be able to bring the parties to the table and to strike such a great deal for the community.

Osypowich is pleased that they were able to make good use of the vacant space and that it didn’t interfere with his ongoing plans to redevelop the plaza.

Rob Scott, Chair of the Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor Foundation, was the happiest of them all. He knows that the $10,000 will fund much needed equipment at the Hospital and Manor helping to ensure that patients and residents get the best possible health care close to home.