Nobody has a problem with funds being raised for a non-profit addiction centre that treats alcohol, drug and gambling addicts.
But eyebrows are being raised in response to the Vitanova Foundation’s decision to hold a men-only fundraiser that featured wine and grappa tasting.
The October 22 event at Avenue restaurant in Vaughan was called a “Gentlemen’s Gala Event”.
Former Conservative Party members Richard Lorello (former riding association executive) and Tracey Kent (former member of the riding association) aren’t happy about the event.
“If you’re going to raise money for an addiction centre, why are you involving alcohol?” said Lorello.
Of course, their protests have nothing to do with the fact that Liberal MP Francesco Sorbara and Ontario’s Liberal Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca attended, right? Well, Kent and Lorello said their criticism has nothing to do with partisan politics and both say they are now Liberal supporters — but not members of any party.
Both politicians issued statements to the Canadian Press, explaining that they were both proud to support the Vitanova Foundation, and that a service was provided to ensure attendees who were drinking would be taken home safely.
Deb Schulte is the new Liberal MP for King-Vaughan, and said that she wasn’t invited to the event, but isn’t angry about that fact. “It’s not that unusual for Woodbridge to have men-only events. Does it bother me? I think, really, it’s not out of the ordinary for this area and just leave it at that.”
Critics of the event wonder if any gambling occurred along with the drinking. Most events in Vaughan, be they fundraisers or stags, involve alcohol coupled with some basic table games. If that turned out to be the case, would it make this event an inappropriate one?
Should a fundraiser designed to help people with alcohol addiction serve alcohol to its participants? Doesn’t send the wrong message? And do you take issue with it being a “men only” event?