A great night for the Festival

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Dancers from Toronto based Samba Connection Dance Company and Axe Capoeira performed Saturday night to a sold-out crowd at the Festival of Giving, which had a Blame It On Rio theme this year. Ticket holders enjoyed hours of entertainment, music, dinner, as well as a live and silent auction. The event raised nearly $308,000 for the Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent and local foodbanks.
Dancers from Toronto based Samba Connection Dance Company and Axe Capoeira performed Saturday night to a sold-out crowd at the Festival of Giving, which had a Blame It On Rio theme this year. Ticket holders enjoyed hours of entertainment, music, dinner, as well as a live and silent auction. The event raised nearly $308,000 for the Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent and local foodbanks.

Would someone please tell Mother Nature to stop having spring temper tantrums? After a great weekend weather-wise (aside from that nasty storm that hit Wallaceburg and area, that is), what the heck was that Tuesday?

At least the weather co-operated for the weekend to allow some key events to take place in nice weather, including the Festival of Giving.

In the past, I joked the acronym for the festival was pretty appropriate, because the spirits flowed so freely that it left some patrons in a fog (especially the next morning). This time around, the party still rocked, but not as many people over-indulged.

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And the fundraising still hit high levels, as the event raised nearly $308,000 for the Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent, and local food banks.

Festival organizers tweaked how they doled out drinks this year. People received wristbands with five drink tickets. Once they were finished that, they could return for one more bracelet.

Ten drinks. And if you went as a couple and one of you doesn’t drink much, then the thirsty one gets the leftovers off the other person’s bracelet.

Yet a few people complained to the organizers that this was unacceptable.

People, this is a huge fundraising event, one that is a heck of a lot of fun and brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

You don’t need to be blitzed to enjoy the entertainment, from the Brazilian drummers and dancers with this year’s Blame It On Rio theme, to the acrobats, to Superfly and then the O’Hara Brothers.

A person doesn’t need to be loaded to look at and bid on the hundreds of silent auction items (I was outbid on everything from a Superbowl football to a man cave sign).

You don’t have to stumble around to observe or partake in the live auction. From a pontoon boat to an in-ground pool install, there were some interesting items up for grabs. I have a feeling I’ll be going to see Santana, via limo, after a friend successfully bid on that.

And then there was the roast pork for dinner. Or the chocolate fountain dessert area. Or the late-night taco bar.

You certainly do not have to be intoxicated to be proud of the fact the event raised more than $300,000 for another year, and in excess of $2 million over its 13-year existence.

Yes, I obviously attended. The ladies at the office even got me onto the dance floor for a bit. My arthritic hip talked to me about that the next day.

It’s a survivor

Prior to the festival, I invited a few of the office folks over to the backyard for a beverage or two.

The only problem was I hadn’t done a thing in the backyard yet this spring. So out came the leaf blower/sucker to clear off the lingering leaves around the back of the house. And I sucked leaves out of the beverage fridge that spent its first winter outdoors (hey, it’s a $10 yard sale investment from a good 10 years ago, it doesn’t owe me anything).

I washed it down inside and out, crossed my fingers, and plugged it in.

IT’S ALIVE!!!

Yes, the Chrysler brand fridge came back to life. I quickly stocked it, turned up the Sirius radio, and continued on my cleanup, washing down our patio furniture and pulling out the cushions from winter storage.

 Stalk ’n’ dance

 While I was doing all this, my wife and daughter were in London at a dance competition. One of them stalked singer/dancer Shawn Desman, who runs the competition. She got several photos with what turns out to be a very gracious celebrity and he signed the back of her iPod.

They snagged the poor guy coming out of the elevator at the hotel at 11 p.m. after he’d been at the dance competition since first thing in the morning. He didn’t shoo away a crowd of 12 and 13 year olds, but rather stopped and posed and chatted.

They caught up to him the final day as well, for more photos and the autograph session.

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