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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

Highlight of the Year


By Fred Wallace


The highlight of the year, not surprisingly, once again this year has very little to do with sports.

In the case of 2009, the highlight moment was the climax of about a 6 week buildup that started one Sunday Morning as I was leaving the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Center.

As I walked by the Owen Sound Minor Lacrosse board that morning, one flyer or poster, among the many on that board, caught my attention.

And while the poster looked hand-made with love and care, I wondered how many people would simply walk by that board, as I almost did that morning, and miss the notice entirely.

At the same moment, it struck me that I have a position that allows me to spread the word at up to 100,000 watts, plus I work for a company that grants me a great deal of freedom within their framework to push and promote activities I feel strongly about.

So I called the event organizers for more details, and they were nervous.

Only 30 percent of the available spaces for their event had been sold to that point, and they were worried.

I wasn't.

I've always believed in the power of radio, and this was a true test of that belief.

And even moreso, I believed in the power of this city, community and region when it comes to being supportive.

On the night of the big event, February 19th, the Owen Sound Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion was packed, so packed that late comers were turned away at the door, but not before they too made a donation or contribution to the cause.

People you expected, people you didn't expect, people you'd never seen before were there, and participated in the only Card Party I've ever been to; maybe the only one I'd ever want to attend.

At the end of the night, the announcement of the funds generated was staggering, and having watched this quirky little homespun activity grow from a tiny poster on the wall to a healthy and needed financial contribution made that event, without rival, the highlight of 2009

Happy New Year.

I'm Fred Wallace


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