Last night Laura and I so enjoyed another annual Turning Point Gala. This was our 5th one since they began and this one celebrated 30 years since Turning Point began. In 1982 Jim Ross and some fellow addicts and alcoholics banded together to have a house where they could live sober while putting back their lives after the devastation of years of the disease of addiction. With the security and spirituality of Turning Point homes hundreds of sick people have found they way back from the abyss returning to health, employment, family and citizenship. The spiritual message is simply that there is clearly more than death on the street that a human is meant for. At Turning Point men and women leave the shame of addiction and gain a life of dignity in recovery.
Actor Rob Lowe humorously shared his ideas and feelings about real living, his 20 year loving marriage, his adored sons, his work as an actor doing the best he can be with the people he most cherishes. His talk was spiced with anecdotes of childhood friends like Charlie Sheen and even stories of time with Wayne Goreski. The room was packed full and he received a standing ovation. A lovely soul and fine human. His memoirs, Stories I only Tell My Friends, is naturally a best seller.
The very beautiful and chic Randene Neil from Global BC news team hosted the night marvellously for the fourth time. Fred Lee from CBC brought his immense enthusiasm and good will with an extra helping of hilarity to his role as Auctioneer. The much loved Turning Point Recovery Society Executive Director, Brenda Plant spoke of the year's accomplishments, the difficulties of stigma facing those with addiction but the success of opening a new woman's only home in Richmond. The hope is to open another home this year on the north shore. Her heartfelt thanks went out to all. Randene read lists of dignitaries from Vancouver and Richmond present to the applause of all. Again this year Finance Minister Falcon was there in great form. The Fred Lee and Kevin Falcon combo was high wit at its finest.
Westjet tickets to anywhere and back were auctioned. Terrific weekend getaway packages to Spinnakers in Victoria with whale watching, Tofino's Pacific Sands Beach Resort with Coastal Hotspring Tour, and Whistler Pan Pacific with River Rafting and Ziptreking. In the silent auction there was a wealth of jewelry, dinners, lunches, paintings, Canucks Tickets, spa packages, RCMP bomber jackets, all manner of perfumes and lotion packages and even Canadian Tire contribution of patio sets. Laura was really pleased that I was able to beat the pack and get her the Mary Kay and Bumble and Bumble Hair Products I knew the girlie girl in her would enjoy.
The Four Seasons meal and service was exquisite. I loved the fine threads, the ladies most elegant in gowns while the men in suits cleaned up well indeed. I enjoyed the best of company at our Rosemary adorned table, Laura and I sitting with our friends Ganesh, Anita and Darren while tonight I was delighted to make a new friend of globetrotting Jason. As always I loved to see my friend Malcolm, Bill and colleague Peter.
This Turning Point Recovery Society Gala event of the year was spectacular in every way.