Bars, COVID-19, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Fundraising, Media, Montreal, Music, Nostalgia

Surviving In A COVID Red Zone: Montreal’s Wheel Club

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with my fondness for bars. During this time of COVID-19 bars in Montreal are closed. Not open with limited seating and social-distancing. But closed completely. In a business that can be brutally competitive at the best of times, this forced loss of revenue will have dire consequences on the entire industry. It is feared many bar owners will not make it and will have to close permanently.

In a business that can be brutally competitive at the best of times, this forced loss of revenue will have dire consequences on the entire industry

With little room for creativity, some bars are doing their best to trudge through the pandemic and, hopefully, still be around when things show some sign of returning to normal. One such establishment is The Wheel Club in Montreal.

The Wheel Club (in French Club La Roue) is a not-for-profit live music venue featuring excellent performances in a vintage room that will take you back to its unpretentious origins as a veterans social club.

Craig Morrison – Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance Party

I have often pointed out that writing a blog does not make one a journalist. I am not a journalist. However, in true journalistic transparency I must admit that, although I have been aware of The Wheel Club for decades, I have never set foot in the establishment. It is located west of me and I tend to head east – or downtown – when seeking a beer or two.

What, then, is a music venue to do when it has to toe the line and shut its doors? The wise folks at The Wheel Club have turned to the Internet

What, then, is a music venue to do when it has to toe the line and shut its doors? The wise folks at The Wheel Club have turned to the Internet. In an effort to pay the bills, a hefty schedule of events is available online, with the opportunity to donate via PayPal. No audience, only the minimal number of technical experts, and the performers.

This coming Wednesday, December 16, 2020 the band is Craig Morrison – Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance Party. I have seen this group before, an off-shoot of Morrison’s Vintage Wine, and can’t recommend them highly enough. If you like a bit of vintage Rock & Roll, R&B, Blues and even swing, then you’ll love this. In addition you can help keep things afloat financially.

Here’s the link. Wednesday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m.! Drop by!

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Birthday Fundraiser

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‘CBC Your News’ Rejects Terry Fox Fundraiser’s Story for ‘Unknown Reasons’

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Writers get rejections all the time – or so I’m told, I of course have never tasted the bitter sting …sorry, got carried away there. But this one has me flummoxed. Recently I blogged about a man who has been raising money for various causes by running. His name is Carl Andersen and he is about to top 100,000 miles run. He has received numerous citations for his charity work, and in 2005 he received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. At the age of 78 he shows no sign of stopping; in fact he will pass this milestone while running in the annual Terry Fox Event.

Since posting this piece several media outlets have shown an interest in the story, and have contacted either Carl or me to arrange a chat. In an effort to raise as much money as possible through sponsorship, I passed along the information to CBC Your News, a site seeking local input. I included a link to my blog and a photo of Carl Andersen.

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The Terry Fox run is an annual event that raises money right across Canada. It seemed to me to be a no brainer that CBC Your News would post this item. But they chose instead to “reject” it.Yet even the email states that the reason for rejection is “unknown”.

Pity.

 

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Terry Fox Run: Montreal Fundraiser Carl Andersen Set To Pass 100,000 Running Miles

Carl Andersen/PHOTO Deegan Charles Stubbs

Carl Andersen  PHOTO: Deegan Charles Stubbs

If all goes according to plan, on September 14th long-time Montreal ultra-runner Carl Andersen will, like thousands of others across Canada, run 10 kilometres in the annual Terry Fox fundraising event. What makes Carl stand out among these runners isn’t just that he’s 78 years old, but that at about the six kilometre point in this run he will pass the 100,000 running miles point. That’s 100,000 miles, not kilometres. He has been running – including 95 marathons – and logging his miles for several years. That’s a whole lot of running!

Realizing that when it came to running he was hooked for life, Carl decided to put his passion to good use, and in 1986 started raising funds by getting people to sponsor his running. He has been going strong ever since. After a career at BELL Canada he opened a running equipment store in west-end Montreal, selling it in 2009. At his peak, Carl used to undertake an annual fundraising run around the circumference of the island of Montreal, a journey of over 120 kilometres!

In April of 2005 her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, then Governor General of Canada, presented Carl with the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in appreciation of his fundraising efforts.

Over the years this ultra-runner’s pursuits have raised almost $1 Million for several charities including breast cancer research – Carl lost his mother and two sisters to this disease –  multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy.

For many years Sheila, Carl’s wife, handled travel arrangements for the company I worked for. I spoke with her on an almost daily basis, yet had never met Carl. One day in April of 2005, Sheila sent me an email informing me she would be out-of-town the next day. She attached a news release stating that her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, then Governor General of Canada, would be presenting Carl with the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in appreciation of his fundraising efforts.

Carl J. Andersen, Montreal, Quebec
Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award

Carl Andersen has been volunteering since the 1950s and, since 1997, he has collected funds for breast cancer treatment, education and research by running an ultra-marathon of over 120 kilometres. This is a grueling challenge for anyone, and it is particularly arduous for a man in his sixties living with arthritis. Without any corporate support, Mr. Andersen has inspired individuals to donate more than $250,000 for the state-of-the-art Cedars Breast Clinic at the McGill University Health Centre. Mr. Andersen’s mother taught him that we always have time to give to others and his efforts honour her memory and the memory of his two sisters who died of breast cancer. At the same time, he has brought hope to numerous women facing the prospect of breast disease.

Ever the overachiever, rather than looking back he focused on what is ahead, and replied “… please help an old man achieve his goal of $15,030 in support of Terry Fox. Thank You”

Recently I asked Carl how he felt as he approached this impressive milestone, if he has any particularly fond memories that stand out from his years of running. Ever the overachiever, rather than looking back he focused on what is ahead, and replied “I hope to one day get to 100 marathons, but for now please help an old man achieve his goal of $15,030 in support of Terry Fox.”

Please consider sponsoring Carl in this year’s Terry Fox Run and be part of history. You can easily do so at this website.

Good luck Carl!

Terry_Fox

 

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Beware charities bearing gifts. Guilt as a fundraising tool; don’t give in!

Charity_giftsTimeo Danaos et dona ferentes – or as we say in English: “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”. It’s from Virgil’s Aeneid and refers to the old soldiers-in-the-big-wooden-horse trick. But it’s also a good idea to keep in mind when it comes to fundraising techniques.

With Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween over, the gears of consumerism ramp up into Christmas mode. The decorations are up and retailers are hoping for a dusting of snow, just enough to create the right atmosphere for the spirit of spending, but not so much that people can’t get out. And right alongside the stores are the charities. Last year I ranted about Chuggers, those street corner charity workers in their red vests who just won’t take no for an answer. This year my charity rant came to me, I didn’t even have to go outside.

It would seem that the current method of choice for many fundraisers is guilt. I’m referring to those charitable organizations that send you something – greeting cards or address labels – right out of the blue, before you’ve even made a contribution, trying to strike at your sense of responsibility. But don’t fall for it. There must be thousands of return address labels with my information on them at various points in the recycling process. They keep arriving, totally unsolicited, and as I rarely, if ever, use snail mail, I just plunk them right in the bin.

By all means donate to reputable charities this holiday season, but do it out of the kindness of your heart, not because you’ve been coerced by a group trying to make you feel indebted because they sent you something first.

As was the case with Chuggers, it seems Britain is well ahead of North America as reported in The Guardian in 2008 – Crackdown on charity ‘gifts’.

Lest you think I’m some sort of Scrooge, let me assure you I have my causes to which I contribute regularly.  So these attempts to make me feel guilty for not replying with a donation to cover the cost of the “gifts” fall flat. And even if I didn’t request them, I don’t throw away all of those goodies, nor do I tie-up the mail service by returning them to the sender: tote bags, birthday cards, calendars and even the occasional shiny nickel would cost the charity a significant amount in return postage, so I keep them. And yes I use them, they were given to me after all.

By all means donate to reputable charities this holiday season, but do it out of the kindness of your heart, not because you’ve been coerced by a group trying to make you feel indebted because they sent you something first.

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MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Montreal

Beware of Chuggers, those aggressive street corner fundraisers

I imagine many of you have been approached by Chuggers at one time or another. Chugger is the term used to describe those street corner fundraisers who essentially accost prospective donors. The term is a combination of the words “charity” and “mugger” and it is a very apt description. What these people do, allegedly on behalf of various charitable organizations such as OXFAM and the Red Cross, is try to get you to stop, in a very aggressive manner so they can tell you their story.

Frequent complaints about paid street fundraisers include the use of aggressive or deceitful tactics, lack of knowledge of the charity, refusal to listen to a person who doesn’t want to stop, the use of sarcasm or other negative language intended to make a person feel guilty if they decline to stop. Paid street fundraisers are sometimes known as chuggers because usually fundraising is viewed as aggressive or invasive (a portmanteau of “charity” and “mugger”). It became popular as a way of referring to street fundraisers after several articles appeared in British newspapers which pointed out the negative image of the people doing the job – Wikipedia

They usually wear some sort of identifying vest and they wave a clipboard in your face in an attempt to convince you they are genuine. Imagine the worst kind of super aggressive salesperson and you have an idea of their method. (As one who will walk out of a store  rather than be trailed around by a pushy salesperson I can only imagine this means of fundraising would turn off more people than it would attract, but that’s just me.) I have blogged before about the need to vet your charity, and that is still a very important thing to do.

BBC

My experience was typical; on several consecutive days last summer, as I sat reading during my lunch hour, I was approached by a pleasant but determined young woman  who, apparently, was raising funds for a charity that saved animals from puppy mills and the like. A very noble cause for sure. After a few days of explaining I wasn’t interested I finally thought “What the hell” and said I’d have a listen.

The woman was articulate, well spoken and friendly, she knew her pitch well, quoting several recent gruesome and heinous animal cruelty news items. Once finished she asked if I had any questions; I didn’t. She then asked if I would like to donate and I asked her to send me some information by email and I would consider it. She said she couldn’t do that, giving me pause. What she wanted, believe it or not, was my banking information so “we can set up monthly donations” which would be much simpler for me.

Was she for real? Did she really think I would give my banking information to an absolute stranger on the street corner?

But this made me think that if there are so many of these Chuggers there must be people out there who will, indeed, give their banking details out to any Tom, Dick or Harriet.

It seems this Chugging was very popular in Britain until an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph exposed them.

I’m certainly not against charity, and I understand they have to ask or they won’t get, but beware of overly aggressive Chuggers as in these difficult economic times your money is of interest to everyone.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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