Two Good Causes B.C. Lawyers Should Support
by Tony Wilson
A few of the nicer things about having written this column over the last five years is that lawyers I hardly know will e-mail me or come up to me in the street and tell me how much they enjoyed the last article. Others will tell me it’s the first thing they read in BarTalk but they always read in the bathroom. Still others will ask what kind of an idiot I must be to go scuba diving with sharks without a cage, and why don’t I have the beard anymore.
I quite enjoy being the province’s resident legal humourist; making fun of the sacred cows of our profession and tweaking the nose of our common wisdom. Surely, there’s a book in these articles that CLE’s all across Canada will give to their speakers instead of all those umbrellas and paperweights. I wait by the phone with baited breath for publishers to see the marketing potential.
In all the years of doing this, I have never thrown my support behind any particular charity or cause; until now. The first is called KIDS UP FRONT, and it distributes what lawyers, accountants and other business people often have in abundance but sometimes can’t use: tickets to sports and cultural events the firm has already paid for. How many times have you been told at the last minute a client can’t make tonight’s hockey game – “can you find a client who might want to go?” Sometimes other lawyers in the firm will grab the tickets because a last minute client can’t be found. Other times no-one will go because it’s too late and everyone has made other plans.
Solution? Donate them to KIDS UP FRONT on the day of the event, and they’ll find an underprivileged child who could never afford front row tickets in a million years and whose life will be enriched by getting the opportunity to see the Canucks, the Lions, the symphony or live theatre from your excellent seats. So if your firm has tickets it can’t use, don’t waste them. Donate them to KIDS UP FRONT. Website: www.kidsupfront.com. Phone: 604-266-KIDS.
The second cause arises from a couple named Wayne and Vicki Hamill. They are offering a suite in their home to the parents of an athlete during the 2010 Olympics – for free! Free? I suppose that’s heresy among the real estate owning classes, wringing their hands over how much money they’ll make renting out the Harry Potter room under the stairs, their garages or their doghouses. I had big plans for my doghouse until I read about the Hamills and was overcome by the warm and happy glow of altruism, selflessness and that most noble of commodities – Olympic principles. Thankfully, not everyone in Vancouver sees the Olympics as a cash cow ready to be milked, the cow cut up for steaks and the leather turned into wallets and handbags.
So wouldn’t it be great if the CBA, in association with other organizations, sponsored a homestay program for Lower Mainland lawyers wishing to “donate” an extra room in their houses to the Moms and Dads of Olympic athletes from other parts of the world for a week? Wouldn’t it be nice to say that hundreds of us abandoned the Olympic sized profits we could have made in favor of Olympic sized ideals?
And to tie all of this together, when the Olympics finally come to Vancouver, wouldn’t it be great if all those empty seats I saw on TV during Beijing Games were actually donated to an organization like KIDS UP FRONT rather than being wasted?
Vancouver Franchise Lawyer Tony Wilson practices at Boughton Law Corporation in Vancouver, and has written for the Globe and Mail, Macleans Magazine and Canadian Lawyer. firstname.lastname@example.org | www.boughton.ca/people/lawyers/tony_wilson
This article was published in the October 2008 issue of BarTalk. © 2008 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.