I want start today’s post by remembering and honoring all those who lost their lives in the attacks on 911 sixteen years ago. Hard to believe that it was that long ago. I swear I recall it like it was just yesterday. Bless all who were forever impacted by the loss of loved ones that day.
Which makes me thankful to still have a heart that is full from doing necessary fundraising work for those in need last night. What a wonderful, magical, successful evening we had raising money for APJ in support of Haiti through our annual gala last night. Not only was the setting incredible; the stunning AGO after hours is so enchanting I felt like I was in a dream, of Beyonce and JayZ! The night had a little extra cool factor thanks to Ben Stiller, Cuba Gooding Jr, Jackson Browne, Paul Haggis and Morgan Spurlock being in attendance. They weren’t only there in support of APJ, but they were also there to take photos and meet the people who paid a pretty penny to attend the evening. They were so accommodating; these guys were all very gracious, taking many photos throughout the night. Which is totally awesome.
We raised close to 1.4 million dollars, where every single penny goes directly to the people who need the money. EVERY SINGLE CENT. I know this because I’m on the advisory board. I know this because the generous and incredible watch company BOVET covers all the hard costs of the events, then, one of the other advisory board members, who I won’t name because I’m not sure he wants it to be public knowledge, covers all the administration costs. Out of his own pocket. ALL OF THEM. For the entire APJ organization, because you know we need some people in the office running the thing. It’s an incredible thing, when an organization can actually say that every single cent donated to them goes to the cause.
I love this. I love this so much.
What I don’t love all that much is the guy who was sat behind us at his table, who got rather drunk over the course of the evening and talked over every single important part of the evening. Whether it was George Stroumboulopoulos announcing Gary Slaight, who received the first ever Birks Canada Inaugural Changemaker Award, and listing off all his philanthropic work, or Paul Haggis discussing the way the people of Haiti live. No matter what was happening on the stage this guy was talking. Loudly.
Finally the tipping point was when Jackson Browne was receiving the Artists for Peace and Justice Activism Award and he began SINGING.
Not like singing along, since Jackson wasn’t singing, this guy was singing some sort of song in whatever language he was speaking. I want to say Russian, but maybe that’s just because of what’s happening in the States, but whatever the language, he was behaving completely inappropriately. When he was politely asked to be quiet, he lost his mind. He wasn’t having any of that, he told the person to you know…I won’t even repeat it because HELLO charity for CHILDREN. Suffice it to say, there was almost a legitimate fight, because the two men who overheard this guy address a woman like that were also not having it. Like who does that?? Who tells a woman to F off?
I feared for the guy, who was about half the size of the defender, I thought the man was going to end up regretting all his choices for that evening. But something about him wasn’t right, he was challenging, he wasn’t at all threatened by the fact that he was quite a small man. Not phased at all. He continued swearing, and baiting. I was blown away. And for a brief second I wondered if he had a gun, not to stereotype, but Eastern European, very small man willing to take on a guy who probably weighs 220 if not more, of solid giant man. That just didn’t seem right to me. Like in nature it seems like that guy would know he was not going to win should he persist in pushing the hostile situation, that he created, further. It was so not cool, the guy, whoever he is and however he got there didn’t belong. Clearly he wasn’t there for the kids, or the cause. In the end, thankfully nothing happened, there was no fight, and the swearing subsided, because hi, what else can you do at a charity gala but stand down.
It was a shocking display of somebody who wasn’t raised right, yet who for some reason thought he was the king of the event. Whoever you are, not that you’re going to read this, I hope inside yourself you know how terribly you behaved, and I hope that even one of the people who knew you at that table has the balls to put you right about your shitty behaviour. And if nobody does challenge you in that way, that’s probably the entire reason why you are the way you are; and I hope for the sake of APJ you take your money and your support elsewhere next year.