Friday, May 1, 2015

Turning Point Gala and Jim Belushi

I love the Turning Point Gala. Turning Point sets the standard for recovery housing and this small grass roots organization has done itself proud since it’s beginning in the 1980’s.  It’s a place where men and women can go and feel supported in their sobriety. They can get back on their feet from wherever they’ve fallen.  The communities where the Turning Point houses exist don’t suffer from their presence but rather their presence enhances the community.
 A few years back a home owner asked me about whether to fight a ‘recovery house’ going up in their neighbourhood. I told them I’d support a house like Turning Point any time but I’d stay away from some of the drug houses masquerading as recovery places because they really did attract  crime and depravity.  By contrast Turning Point Recovery Houses are good citizens and as such make good citizens. They don’t tolerate drug use or crime.  Their sole function is to provide a safe home for individuals to transition back into mainstream society.  Everyone wins.
I’ve been attending their gala for 8 years now. It’s best dinner and speaker event in Vancouver. The Four Seasons is a great venue and serves a fine meal.  The list of dignitaries who attend is always impressive. This year Member of Parliament David Wilks was there, along with Susan Anton, Atorney General and my personal favourite, Terry Lake, Minister of Health.
Randene Neill, News Anchor for Global BC, was again a most delightful mistress of ceremony. Brenda Plante the incredible Executive Director of Turning Point is the moving force who brings everyone together.  Howard Blank again was the most entertaining and quite hilarious auctioneer.  Thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars were raised by his hypnotic personality.  Added to that Terry Lake surprised us all with the Liberal Governments announcement of a million dollar donation to the building building restorations, renovations and making the homes transgender friendly.  Turning Point Recovery Society is also planning another home for men while the Turning Point Women’s Recovery House just opened in North Vancouver.
Jim Belushi was the guest of honour and truly an amazing speaker.  He asked that the media and bloggers like me respect his desire to keep the content of his talk intimate  I can only respect that given the vulnerability he shared speaking of addiction and how this had affected him and his family. He is a truly remarkable man whose wisdom journey I was blessed to hear.
Thank you Turning Point for another wonderful experience in sharing and caring.
I enjoyed sharing a table with George, Jane, and Laura. We were joined by Joanna, Quinten, and Lorinda from Orchard Treatment Centre,  and of course ,  David Berner.  It was also so very good to see Guseppe from Last Door as well as Michelle from Avalon.  Turning Point Gala is always such a very special night.

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