What message are we sending?

An interesting item turned up in a recent Advocate. I had to re-read it to understand that it was serious. This was a Rye and Cigar Tasting, touted as a Rotary Club fundraiser for several local charities.

An interesting item turned up in a recent Advocate. I had to re-read it to understand that it was serious. This was a Rye and Cigar Tasting, touted as a Rotary Club fundraiser for several local charities. I took the time to ascertain that the cigar smoking would take place outdoors at the non-smoking public venue; and that transportation would be available for those who enjoyed tasting the rye a bit too much.

Make no mistake — I fully support the Rotary organization, and admire the many worthwhile projects they work on for the benefit of everyone. I just feel strongly that this particular project misses the point, in today’s realities.

The image arose in my mind of a group of well-heeled self-made “community leaders” schmoozing, in a cloud of cigar smoke, elegant drinks in hand, all feeling very pleased to participate in some worthy charitable causes — and still stay within their own social milieu.

The second image involved the presentation of a cheque for the proceeds of this event, to recipients from the aforesaid charities. Perhaps some well-scrubbed children, coached to smile with awe and gratitude at their benefactors? What a great photo-op! “See, kids, work hard, make the ‘right’ connections, and you too can grow up to wear nice suits, smoke good cigars, drink the best booze, and be seen at public charity fundraisers.” A win/win situation!

But is it? Does spending money on smokes (no matter how classy) and drinks (no matter how upscale) truly assist people in our community in need of a hand up, and genuine acceptance in society?

Does this represent an ethical standard to uphold as to how we relate to those in less fortunate circumstances, when we meet them?

Or does this type of event perpetuate the social structures that separate the “haves” from the so-called “have-nots” in the public eye; and justify maintaining the current status quo?

Bonnie Denhaan

Red Deer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

Kris Sturgess with Calgary Ghostbusters. (Photo from GoFundMe)
GoFundMe account salutes Red Deer prop builder

Kris Sturgess died unexpectedly April 28

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas talks with his players during a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match against Mexico's Cruz Azul at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Fernando Llano
Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Gymnastics Canada skipping Olympic qualifier because of COVID-19 concerns

Gymnastics Canada skipping Olympic qualifier because of COVID-19 concerns

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships, in Montreal, Thursday, July 25, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
After pregnancy, injuries and a pandemic, Bishop-Nriagu finally hitting her stride

After pregnancy, injuries and a pandemic, Bishop-Nriagu finally hitting her stride

Lille's Burak Yilmaz, center, reacts with teammates after scoring during their French League One soccer match between Lille and Nice in Villeneuve d'Ascq, northern France, Saturday May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Canada’s Jonathan David scores milestone goal as Lille moves 4 points ahead of PSG

Canada’s Jonathan David scores milestone goal as Lille moves 4 points ahead of PSG

Jean Carlo Salas of Costa Rica vies for the ball with Canada's Ian Bennett (right) during a CONCACAF Futsal Championship in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Wednesday, May 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-CONCACAF-Norvin Mendoza MANDATORY CREDIT
Canada denied a trip to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in penalty shootout loss to Panama

Canada denied a trip to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in penalty shootout loss to Panama

Canadian Stephen Ames one shot back of leaders at Regions Tradition

Canadian Stephen Ames one shot back of leaders at Regions Tradition

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson leaves the ice after defeating China at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Friday, May 7, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canada’s Einarson beats China 6-4, qualifies for playoffs at world curling playdowns

Canada’s Einarson beats China 6-4, qualifies for playoffs at world curling playdowns

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday May 4, 2021. A broad coalition of MPs from all five parties wants the federal government to support waiving the global rules that guard vaccine trade secrets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
As MPs urge support, Trudeau demurs on whether government backs COVID-19 waiver

As MPs urge support, Trudeau demurs on whether government backs COVID-19 waiver

Most Read