A complex organization but between all the levels there is a group of people meeting a real community need.



By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. August 3, 2013  When you ask Wayne Brown why a committee was formed to put on yet another gala event in Burlington he will tell you that the moment three people in this city get together the outcome is a gala – and if two people are in a pub having a beer, he adds, the result is a golf tournament.  That’s just what people in Burlington do.  It could be worse.

Wayne Brown is the chair of an event being called This Magic Moment and while not exactly a gala,  it is a fund raising event for a good cause with a committee made up of anyone who is anybody on the letterhead.

Don’t expect to see Connie Smith with this Vavavavoom dress at the Magic Moment event; she plans to wear a pony tail and her saddle shoes – if she can find them.

Try this for influence: Wayne Brown as Chair; Scott Robinson of the Burlington Bandits baseball team as  Co-Chair; Reg Titian, Artistic Director; Lucie Rivest, Treasurer; Connie Smith at CHCH is handling Publicity; Don Foster/Jackie Penner have taken on marketing.  These are the working stiffs

The Board of Directors consists of Carol Leppan, Steve DeHaseth, Carla Leyer, Jason Stoner, Bill McKeon, Jenifer Rayworth, Sarah Allen, Salma Burney, Shannon Smith, Wendy Gzechowski, Barry Leppan, Mario Carr and Rob Wheeler.

You need to be careful with this man: Once he has decided to do something – it is going to get done. Expect to see Jim Frizzle working with him

Serving as liaison with the Halton Heros committee is Cheryl Goldring and Keith Strong.  Strong is the guy you want to keep an eye on.  This Magic Moment event would not be taking place if Strong had not learned that there are times when police or civilian working for the police service need help.

What are all these people doing when they get together in the same room?  Organizing an event that will sell 2000 tickets for an outdoor dance event to be held at Nelson Park September 14th.  This isn’t going to be any ordinary dance under the stars.  The stars will be on the stage and the music will take the audience back to their youth – those time when they danced the jitterbug and the guys whirled the girl they were with through the air.  The music of the 50’s and 60’s headlined by The Drifters, not some knock off group – but the original four who will be on the stage singing their signature piece: This Magic Moment.

No need to go looking for a scalper outside Nelson High – slip over to get tickets – don’t wait – this one will probably sell out.

The Magic Moment event is one part of a much larger organization called Community Cares Committee of Halton.  It was incorporated late in 2012 by volunteers that care and want to help make a difference.  Its first initiatives was the organizing of a gala for the Halton Heroes which held its inaugural event last year and raised $140,000 which will be used to support police officers and civilians employed by the Halton Regional Police Service who are injured in the line of duty.

The funds raised by the Gala were left with the Burlington Community Development Foundation on an in trust basis.  When anyone working with the Police Service is injured the Foundation delivers a cheque to them within 48 hours.

Brown explains that while insurance and other benefits are available to police officers and police service staff there is a process to be followed and that takes time.  For families in crisis with perhaps no immediate financial support, funds in hand immediately make a huge difference – thus the Halton Heroes funding.

The second gala, specifically dedicated to the Halton Heroes fund is to be held on Friday, September 20, 2013 at the Burlington Convention Centre.  The sole purpose of this fund is to make sure the community is there for Halton Regional Police Service families.

“In Halton Region”, explains Brown, “ the public depend on the Police Service to protect us in times of crisis and need. We can’t prevent every act of violence or injury. But together we can offer our officers and civilian staff peace-of-mind.”

“Right now”, adds Brown, “there is a gap in funding when one of our Police Service members is seriously injured or killed. By establishing an endowment fund to be administered by an independent board, our Halton Regional Police Service members and their families will have short-term financial assistance that is not currently available.”

The funds raised during that Magic Moment evening will be added to the Halton Community Cares Committee.

It sounds like almost too many layers of organization – but it gives them a reason to get out of the house at night.  And the end result next September 14th will be an evening under the stars dancing to music some of us remember very well – Dancing to the sound of

They’re collecting pension cheques now – but this is the way they did it when they were younger.

 He rocks in the tree tops all day long

Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and a-singing his song

All the little birds on Jaybird Street

Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet.


Connie Smith is going to MC the event, along with Robbie Lane;  the Drifters will be on stage. Do you remember Pauly and the Goodfellas? When was the last time you heard Good Vibrations and California Girls?

It gets better.  The Drifters don’t like running around at the pace most entertainers do; they prefer to relax; take the train and avoid the crowds – so they’re coming in Burlington a day ahead of their Saturday night appearance at Nelson Park.

It’s a sound that will bring back wonderful memories from some of those wonderful moments – the Drifters – live at Nelson Park

Well guys, thought the committee that put this together, if you’re in town, why not hold a nice, small, intimate evening with a small bunch of people who can sip wine, nibble on the noshes and chat up the Drifters and hear some of the wild tales they have to tell.

That resulted in the Soiree that will take place on Friday evening at the Waterfront Hotel.   Tickets to that event right here.

It’s going to be a great weekend – with a number of people calling their chiropractors the next day – that “hoppin” and a “bobbin” stuff calls for a physical dexterity many of those people just don’t have anymore.


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