Philanthropy For Lunch

The winners of Brett Wilson’s Vancouver Lunch Contest, do not need introductions to Brett, all ten of us recognize him instantly from The Dragon’s Den tv show, as he arrives at The Cibo Trattoria on Feb 28, 2014, wearing an animated Robert Graham designer shirt, accompanied by his lovely daughter.

Cibo Trattoria

Cibo Trattoria

He sits at the head of the table, entertaining us with anecdotes from his life, and sprinkles in highlights from the business conference he attended in L.A. the previous day. His enthusiasm energizes our eclectic group, in the stylish secluded room of the restaurant.

In his book, Redefining Success, Still Making Mistakes, Brett shares his story, and at Cibo, he invites us to share our stories, and gives us his full attention when we speak. The stories of our journeys go deep at times, and include “laughter and tears”, as Brett said.

Brett responds with a generous helping of wisdom, gleaned from years of experience working in the stratosphere of the Canadian investment banking scene, his role on The Dragon’s Den, and from his experiences with his family.

Sharing our stories is a cathartic release of emotion that bonds the group, despite our varied ages, genders, and professions.

It quickly establishes a rapport, which creates common ground between twelve people that were previously strangers.

Brett conducts the tempo of the luncheon like an expert, guiding the ensemble, as we enjoy a delicious lunch and friendship, and chat like a big family.

I feel grateful to be here, aware that tables for Brett’s fundraisers, like the one he organized under the sails at Canada Place in Vancouver go for $25,000.00 each, and high profile stars, like Gene Simmons from KISS, and wife Shannon Tweed are in attendance.

Ann with Brett Wilson

Ann with Brett Wilson

The lunch meeting was orchestrated so smoothly, as if Brett has been conducting luncheons his whole life. Witnessing that level of leadership will take me a while to process.

Before we head home to our various cities and communities, he autographs our books, and poses for pictures with us.

As I walk over to Richards Street, I try to figure out the meaning of the lunch for me, and the ingredient that bonded the lunch guests together.

As I walk in front of The Holy Rosary Cathedral on Richards Street, I have an epiphany.

The French Gothic style heritage building reveals the meaining of the luncheon.

art on Canadian stamp

Guido Nincheri art on Canadian stamp 1997 Holy Rosary Cathedral

This was my Mom’s church in the 1990’s, and when they needed a new roof, she donated $5,000.00 to the roof fund, which was a large sum for her.

Aha! It was about philanthropy. He did not preach to the congregation, he connected us, informed and entertained us, rewarded us with lunch, and empowered us to go change the world, by stepping up and spreading the seeds of philanthropy in the community.

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing” – Albert Schweitzer

I had never realized that my mom was my original philanthropy mentor, when she took me on The Mother’s March as a child to raise money for the charity. Or, when I saw her giving bus fare to every hitchhiker she saw, so they would take a bus instead of getting in a car with a stranger. Sometimes small acts can change the course of someone’s life.

She gave either her time, or her talent, or her treasure, the three t’s, to express her gratitude for the gifts she was given.

To her, philanthropy would have seemed like a big word to describe it , but it takes a big heart to “love all of mankind”. I think she would have called it caring for others, or in a word ‘love’.

Copy this link to Read My Review of Brett’s book: http://annhoy.com/redefining-success-still-making-mistakes-book-review-by-ann-hoy/

http://www.holyrosarycathedral.org/stewardship/

photo by Clayton
photo of Cibo by Ann

Oprah’s Garage Sale and Vancouver Visit

 

Ann and her sister with Faux-prah at Oprah in Vancouver Photo courtesy of Virgin Radio Vancouver

Ann and her sister with Faux-prah at Oprah in Vancouver
Photo courtesy of Virgin Radio Vancouver

You don’t usually find a pair of $700.00 French country nightstands at a garage sale, but Oprah Winfrey’s garage sale isn’t your usual garage sale. She is selling off many of her former favorite things in Santa Barbara this weekend, to fund a college education for girls at a school she set up in South Africa. You can shop in person in Santa Barbara, or bid on-line.

When Oprah came to Vancouver last January, she spoke to us in the audience about the underprivledged girls, many of whom had lost one or both parents, and many of whom were staying at Oprah’s house with her until they went off to college in the United States. Here is a re-post of my blog about the day I saw Oprah in Vancouver last January.

My sister and I were fortunate to count ourselves among the 16,000 fans at Rogers Arena in Vancouver last night, who gave Oprah Winfrey a standing ovation, to thank her for being an inspiration in our lives for the past 25 years.

She started the evening’s show by asking the audience: “Why are You Here?”

She says we all have a calling, and our job is to figure out what that calling is.  To figure out our calling, she says we have to look at the common thread that runs through our lives.  What have you done for yourself and others that makes a difference?  She says we must use our purpose in life to help ourselves first, and then to serve others, as the ultimate purpose of life is to serve others.

– Getting Paid:

Oprah says we must answer our calling, to realize our potential and to help others, even if we don’t get paid for it.  But, if we CAN get paid to do our calling, that’s even better.

– How Do You Know When To Act?:

Listen to the whispers in your head, as they are telling you what you should do.  If you ignore this inner voice, it will become like pebbles hitting your head, and if you continue to ignore it, it will eventually become a tsunami. Your thoughts create what you become, and you are responsible for your thoughts and your own life, so don’t wait for others to make things happen for you.

– How To Paint The Canvas That is Your Life:

She says your thoughts are creating who you want to become.  To become what you believe you must work hard, to prepare yourself to grab opportunities when they arise.  Oprah believes there is no such thing as luck – everything happens for a reason.  You create your life with your thoughts, actions, and intentions.

Oprah entertained the crowd for two hours by taking them on a guided photo, video and speaking tour of her life, which was sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes thoughtful, and mostly inspirational.  She described how she discovered her life’s calling – “talking to crowds”, as a child, by speaking to the congregation in her church.

She said she always saw her calling as being a “teacher”. But, like her garage sales, her classrooms are not your usual classrooms. In Vancouver, she was talking to a stadium classroom with 16,000 students.

Sign up here before bidding: http://t.co/zKlFNSPn5n
For Oprah’s garage sale info: http://www.kaminskiauctions.com/

Ann Singing Hey Jude With Paul McCartney in Vancouver

Ann singing Hey Jude with Paul McCartney

BC Place wrapped in British Flag


In a knock one off my bucket list moment, there I was, almost a year ago, being summoned by Paul to sing “Hey Jude” with him as one of the “ladies”.

Paul was the bassist in The Beatles, who performed on The Ed Sullivan show in New York on my 2nd birthday on Feb 9, 1964.

The band gobsmacked North America with their music, songs, and being themselves, and became one of the best rock groups of all time.

The first time Paul performed in Vancouver, was with The Beatles at the former Empire Stadium in August 1964.

And 48 years later, in 2012, he finally returned to Vancouver to sing Hey Jude with me.

I Want to Hold Your Hand was the first Beatles’ song I heard. My mom and I would sing it while holding hands on our way to the grocery store. I was 4.

The first dance I learned was the twist, inspired by their song Twist and Shout. I remember twisting my hips from side to side when the song played on the radio. I was 5.

Paul McCartney's childhood home in Liverpool

Paul McCartney’s childhood home

My husband is a huge Beatle fan, so in 1984, we visited Liverpool, birthplace of The Beatles. Our tour stopped at the childhood homes of George, Ringo, John and Paul, and the barber shop in the song Penny Lane and went to Strawberry Fields.

We crossed the famous crosswalk in Abbey Road in London, went to EMI House where the Beatles recorded, and sat on the steps of Paul’s MPL Studios like a couple of apple scruffs waiting to see Paul, to no avail.

Ann crossing Abbey Road, London

Ann crossing Abbey Road, London

In 1987, Paul announced a concert at The Kingdome in Seattle, and my husband and me, and another couple drove to Seattle to see him. Paul’s charisma shrinks the crowd, and draws you closer to him, turning a football field into an intimate club. The place radiated with love for the man. It was the best concert I had seen… up to that point.

When Paul announced his Vancouver concert in 2012, I was fortunate to get 4 floor seats for my husband, myself, and two of our sons; our other son was away playing hockey.

As we drove into downtown Vancouver on the night of the concert, the outside of the beautiful BC Place Stadium was wrapped in a Union Jack of moving colored lights, with tens of thousands of fans inside, who had waited patiently for years for Paul’s return.

The 71 year-old rocker dazzled us with a non-stop, 3 hour parade of timeless classics. He poured out his musical love to the crowd, filling the air with the soundtrack of our lives.

From the first song, Paul made a personal connection with us. Then, after he sang a beautiful acoustic version of Blackbird, he said “put up your hand if you’ve tried to play Blackbird with it’s difficult chord changes”, and 20,000 people put up their hand. I felt like he was talking to me, having spent hours trying to make the difficult chord changes for that song on my guitar.

Then the highlight of the night was when he asked me to sing “Hey Jude”, as one of the ladies. He said I sounded “so sweet”, and gave me a hug from the stage (see attached you tube video). My youngest son filmed the video, and he pans the camera to his Dad on the left, who is in a trance like state as Paul has asked him to sing “Hey Jude” with the “fellas”, as Paul calls them.
At the end of the second encore to wrap up the show, Paul sings “The End”:

AND IN THE END
THE LOVE YOU TAKE
IS EQUAL TO
THE LOVE YOU MAKE.

A fan posted about “The End” “To make a 2 minute song with 4 lines in it and having the most powerful message in those four lines you have to be the best band in the world!”

That four line song became an anthem to a generation, and that 3 hour concert, which left the audience in awe, had to be the best concert in the world.

photo credit – Union Jack News

John Tortorella, Vancouver Canucks’ new Head Coach, is also a Dog Rescuer

John Tortorella, dog rescuer

John Tortorella with one of his rescue dogs

The Vancouver Canucks hired head coach John Tortorella, and an article in The Vancouver Sun said he is an animal lover and dog rescuer when he is away from the rink.

“Tortorella and his wife, Christine, run the Tortorella Family Foundation, which, according to their mission statement, “was created to enable our family to reach out to more children in disadvantaged situations, to help others who work to improve the lives of these children and their families, and to help those who protect children, animals, and our environment from harm.”    The Vancouver Sun.

While coaching in New York, he was involved in the local humane society and at a dog shelter.  He has four dogs, three of them rescues, and tweeted about SPCA events and encouraged people to volunteer at shelters and adopt dogs.

His four dogs were driven across Canada by car to Vancouver,  so they could avoid putting them in cages to transport by plane.

We look forward to see if he continues his benevolent work for dogs in the Vancouver area.

photo credit: New York Rangers, cbsnewyork. files.wordpress.com

Seeing Oprah in Vancouver – Thurs Jan 24th, 2013

 

Ann and her sister with Faux-prah at Oprah in Vancouver Photo courtesy of Virgin Radio Vancouver

Ann and her sister with Faux-prah at Oprah in Vancouver
Photo courtesy of Virgin Radio Vancouver

You don’t usually find a pair of $700.00 French country nightstands at a garage sale, but Oprah Winfrey’s garage sale isn’t your usual garage sale. She is selling off many of her former favorite things in Santa Barbara this weekend, to fund a college education for girls at a school she set up in South Africa.

When Oprah came to Vancouver last January, she spoke to us in the audience about the underprivledged girls, many of whom had lost one or both parents, and many of whom were staying at Oprah’s house with her until they went off to college in the United States. Here is a re-post of my blog about the day I saw Oprah in Vancouver last January.

My sister and I were fortunate to count ourselves among the 16,000 fans at Rogers Arena in Vancouver last night, who gave Oprah Winfrey a standing ovation, to thank her for being an inspiration in our lives for the past 25 years.

She started the evening’s show by asking the audience: “Why are You Here?”

She says we all have a calling, and our job is to figure out what that calling is.  To figure out our calling, she says we have to look at the common thread that runs through our lives.  What have you done for yourself and others that makes a difference?  She says we must use our purpose in life to help ourselves first, and then to serve others, as the ultimate purpose of life is to serve others.

– Getting Paid:

Oprah says we must answer our calling, to realize our potential and to help others, even if we don’t get paid for it.  But, if we CAN get paid to do our calling, that’s even better.

– How Do You Know When To Act?:

Listen to the whispers in your head, as they are telling you what you should do.  If you ignore this inner voice, it will become like pebbles hitting your head, and if you continue to ignore it, it will eventually become a tsunami. Your thoughts create what you become, and you are responsible for your thoughts and your own life, so don’t wait for others to make things happen for you.

– How To Paint The Canvas That is Your Life:

She says your thoughts are creating who you want to become.  To become what you believe you must work hard, to prepare yourself to grab opportunities when they arise.  Oprah believes there is no such thing as luck – everything happens for a reason.  You create your life with your thoughts, actions, and intentions.

Oprah entertained the crowd for two hours by taking them on a guided photo, video and speaking tour of her life, which was sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes thoughtful, and mostly inspirational.  She described how she discovered her life’s calling – “talking to crowds”, as a child, by speaking to the congregation in her church.

She said she always saw her calling as being a “teacher”. But her classrooms, are not your usual classrooms. In Vancouver, her “classroom” held 16,000 of us students.

For Oprah’s garage sale info: http://www.kaminskiauctions.com/