Todd Janes. Judith Ann Gale
Scott McKeen. Judith Ann Gale
Ron Wai. Judith Ann Gale
When the Board of Boyle McCauley News agreed to a fundraising Gala to celebrate 40 years of publishing, I called Todd Janes to ask him to be Master of Ceremonies because of his love for our communities, and his natural charm and abilities. Todd then suggested two co-chairs to support us. Thankfully, Councilor Scott McKeen agreed. After a lot of discussion, we decided to approach Mint Health + Drugs because of the company’s obvious desire to be contributing members of the community. In fact, the company has a charitable foundation that works to find housing for those in need. Director Ron Wai said yes, and our team was born!
You can imagine the challenge of finding times when Ron, Todd, Scott, Editor Paula Kirman, Board Chair Gary Garrison, and I could meet throughout the year. As a public servant, Councillor McKeen had the least flexibility in his schedule, so Rebecca Visscher, his assistant, worked magic to get him to meetings. And Ron, as a Director of Mint, is just as busy, but with a bit more flexibility.
I cannot emphasize enough how much creativity, energy, and dedication went into the volunteer work they all put in to ensure the success of our 40th anniversary gala on March 9th. Scott approached companies that are involved in the downtown core with the idea of purchasing tables and donating seats so that our volunteers could attend. He and Rebecca were very successful!
Ron not only purchased tables on behalf of Mint, he also invited many leaders in the Chinatown business community. Ron’s mother convinced us that the Jing Ying Lion Dancers were an appropriate way to introduce our dignitaries. It was phenomenal. Those dancers cleared out any bad spirits, and opened the floor for our guests to perform a traditional Indigenous welcome to Edmonton’s new EPS Chief McFee. It was pure serendipity that all of these things happened long after the Board had asked Marty Chan to be our guest speaker. Some things were just meant to be.
Todd Janes, founder of Nuit Blanche and Chair of McCauley Revitalization, simply and quietly serves our communities, and the City of Edmonton, with incredible, creative capacity.
I have organized many special events in the past, but I learned so many new things from these three men – it was an exhausting, exhilarating, and extremely satisfying year! Thank you!
Oh, and by the way – their work saved the paper.