Friday, May 3, 2013

Turning Point Recovery Society Gala I heard Fred Lee exuberantly announce the Turning Point Recovery Society Gala on CBC radio early this week. I was glad I had tickets. The event was sold out. In the past the speakers have been mesmerizing. This year's Ashley Judd, famous for acting and writing,  had been preceded by  John Larroquette, Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Katey Sagal.

It was an honour then to sit at the table with the Turning Point Board Member Malcolm Summersby and the lovely Marlene with friends Ganesh Nanda and his beautiful wife Anita. My able young assistant Hannah had come with her sister Sharisse. This was their first Turning Point Gala. They loved it. Sharisse works for the Baptist Geriatric Housing Services and said she learned a lot at this remarkable evening.
Brenda Plant, Turning Point's major driving 'force' has a true compassion for recovery that is unsurpassed. Global TV's Randene Neil was again a terrific, sensitive and entertaining host.
There were many dignitaries. The room was awash with successful handsome men and successful gorgeous women. The men's clothing was unremarkable but their jewelry from watch and pen bling to diamond earrings was as telling as their calm command of themselves. The women were equally impressive at this event, though their clothing, especially their shoes appeared to cost more than my wardrobe. Their voices carried that assurance and understatement that only the truly powerful possess. We all laughed when Randene said we were there to raise money for Turning Point. She declared we'd all be so generous that we'd leave without taxi fare.
The highly accomplished and sincere Dr. MacDiarmid, the BC  Minister of Health, gave the most inspirational opening remarks. Again, testimony from Turning Point alumni spoke to the remarkable work of the society. IMG 3007

I loved the silent auction. I go to several Galas but Turning Points sponsors and gift givers are the most generous. Every year I look forward competing for the very best of the best. Some very sly fellow beat me out of the Puccini Opera Tickets this year but I was glad to get the Pan Pacific Brunch and Opera I'd only learned about by winning one year at an earlier Turning Point Gala. I was disappointed yet again though that I didn't win the door prize Westjet flight for 2. The Fleetwood Mac Tickets with haut cuisine dinner limos and other enticements were a show stopper. Whistler getaways and helicopter rides and whale watching events were there too. Thousands and thousands were raised by the amazing professional auctioneer who had a glorious sense of humour. The food was all that the Four Seasons is renowned for.

 But Ashley Judd was the night's event. What a truly beautiful young woman. I don't know why she lied about her age, saying she was past 40. She couldn't possibly be out of her twenties. She really does look that young. Her wisdom is a wholly different matter. Her journey was an epic of the heart and soul. I choked back tears of profound admiration listening to her share her love and experience. She so touched my heart that all loneliness seemed to be lifted sitting with all these others who had come out this night to help the homeless and addicted. Thanks to Ashley Judd I found again that place where I can identify deeply with those who deal with their own loneliness and separation with the illusions of drugs and alcohol, trapped in the despair of their addictive disease and mental illness. It was all over too soon. I must read Ashley Judd's memoir, "All that is Bitter and Sweet."

My guests Hannah and Sharisse had to take the coffee and seafood platters I'd succeeded in winning, forgetting I'd come on motorcycle. I was thankful though for the RCMP Bomber Jacket. The beautiful red siege wearing RCMP member from Richmond comes every year. In years past the black RCMP bomber jacket offering had obviously been made for active members. This year they had a "larger" offering, obviously for the more senior desk jockeys.
Thank you Turning Point for all the fine work you do for the addicted. You are a great non profit society. I wish your new home in North Vancouver as great success as your Richmond homes. It was terrific, too,  to see North Vancouver's mayor there. IMG 3010 IMG 3012 IMG 3007

1 comment:

Jeff Arsenault said...

Thank you William for the wonderful blog-article + synopsis of the "Turning Point Recovery Society Gala" this past week here in Vancouver.


Jeff (Arsenault)