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

Just Posted

BILD says not the time for higher permit fees in Red Deer

Construction industry is hard hit by slow economy

Bighorn Country telephone town hall for Red Deer area set for Wednesday

Residents can phone in from 6:30-7:30 p.m. to hear about the project or ask questions

Central Alberta real estate sales follow a familiar pattern

2018 house sale numbers mirror 2017 in central Alberta

Red Deer hospital settles dispute, welcomes neonatal nurse

A dispute over nursing levels at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s emergency… Continue reading

Drumheller-Stettler MLA quits UCP

Rick Strankman to sit as Independent

Lucic, Kassian each score twice to power Oilers in 7-2 win over Sabres

EDMONTON — Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian each scored a pair of… Continue reading

Big Valley family gives back to community

Donates $24,560 to Stettler Health Foundation and Edmonton Stollery Children’s Hospital

Giordano notches three points to lead Flames in 7-1 blowout of Coyotes

CALGARY — Flames captain Mark Giordano celebrated his 800th NHL game in… Continue reading

All-female team out to prove women racers aren’t a gimmick

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Every racing series in the world is full… Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’ final season to debut on April 14

NEW YORK — “Game of Thrones” fans, get ready. HBO announced Sunday… Continue reading

Kylie Jenner loses record for most-liked Instagram post

NEW YORK — Kylie Jenner’s birth announcement is no longer the most-liked… Continue reading

Study shows black bears need a variety of salmon species to be healthy

VANCOUVER — Black bears need access to different species of salmon rather… Continue reading

Trade war’s wounded: Companies improvise to dodge cost hikes

WASHINGTON — In Rochester, New York, a maker of furnaces for semiconductor… Continue reading

Most Read