TORONTO - In the normal course of events, fundraising galas organized to raise money and the profile of an organization – usually not for profit and frequently charitable – have an appeal that transcends dierences of all varieties.
Money is money and need trumps everything else. Hospice Vaughan celebrated its ability to enter the pantheon of those “worthy charities” that attract the munificence of the entrepreneurial sector, the land baron class, the marketing community, the goods and services providers or any of the several trade unions.
Everybody is encouraged to “pitch in”, even if they are directly or indirectly in a competitive relationship. Everyone has a stake in their success. Everyone is welcome. For the wise, that includes people in elected o€ce - irrespective of their partisan stripe. Protocols are a “tricky wicket”.
If they are observed, proper recognitions serve, at the very least, as invisible anti-projectiles vestments from unseen competition. Unobserved, they erode relationships such organizations may need down the road. Protocols are like the “save harmless clause” in a contract. Case in point.
One week ago, organizers of the Meta Centre’s grand opening went out of their way to acknowledge the contributions of people past and present. They started and ended with the main benefactor – the De Zen family - and included the input two former Provincial Cabinet Ministers without whose political support the organization might have struggled to achieve their dream for a longer while still. They also gave the podium to the local MP, the MPP and to the incumbent Mayor; as well they should – such intelligent organizations check political partisanship at the door.
On Friday, Hospice Vaughan’s organizing Gala Committee somehow thought it diplomatic to exclude the presenting sponsors for the evening – Carpenters’ Union Locals 27 and 675, Drywall and Acoustics – from the formalities. Strangely, they missed the opportunity to invite the local MP from bringing greetings from the Prime Minister.
They also chose to ignore the presence of his caucus colleague for the adjacent riding (an MP and Parliamentary Secretary – a Junior Minister). Both have a history of support for the organization. Two newly-elected, local MPPs from Vaughan were acknowledged on the agenda and invited to speak. The MPPs belong to one Party; the MPs to a dierent one. The optics were not the best. It was a great social event. One hopes that the clientele Hospice Vaughan will eventually serve will not suer the same screening.