3rd Annual Turning Point Recovery Society Gala Fundraiser, and thanks to Malcolm's soft sell strong arm techniques I've been to all three. Not to mention that my partner, Laura smiles most appreciatively and coos her thanks for my inviting her to these outstanding affairs. She simply loves all the dressing up, the beautiful people, the elegant Four Seasons Hotel, me in a suit, the fine dining, silent and live auctions, and the most amazing speakers.
This year Martin Sheen was deeply moving and funny in the most inimitable way. "I was the longest 'acting president' in US history and when West Wing concluded I was the 'former acting president." The sensational speech he gave was auctioned off for a thousand dollars before he got up to speak, saying, "I'm not sure my speech is worth a thousand dollars." At the end to standing ovation and house warming applause there was no doubt it was worth much much more. Martin Sheen has made his living as an actor but his love today is social activism. He spoke eloquently of the poor and oppressed and celebrated the best of what civilization has to offer.
Randene Neill of Global TV was the truly delightful MC. Brenda Plant, Executive Director of Turning Point, brought a human face to the caring work of this non profit society that has served the community for 27 years providing supportive abstinence based residential environments for people recovering from the disease of addiction.
The Minister of Health, Kevin Falcon, spoke to the government's commitment to mental health and addiction, announcing the recent $200 million dollar project for 1000 new supportive affordable housing units for the city.
Forgetting to pick up my suitcase from storage and needing to catch a plane at 7 am tomorrow for Winnipeg, I was rather thankful that my modest bid won the BMW luggage that night. Laura, who won a door prize of wholly unnecessary beauty creams, said, "It's my favourite event of the year. I simply love the Turning Point Gala."
I suggested I'd not taken her to mud wrestling, monster trucks or world wrestling events so she might be making that decision based on limited comparison. She assured me she was not. Seriously.