Monday, June 10, 2013

Guest commentary: What's wrong with this picture? - by Robin Montano

On the social page of today's Trinidad Guardian ('The Talk of Trinidad' June 10, 2013)  there is a two page spread of photographs of a cocktail party hosted by the children's charity United Way, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain. 

(Now, for those who might not be aware, the Hyatt is the most prestigious and most expensive hotel in Port of Spain.) 

The blurb accompanying the photographs says that the function was held by the charitable organisation to say 'thank you' to its sponsors for all the support that the sponsors have given to United Way.

And this was where I said a big loud "WHAT?" What in the name of heaven is a charitable organisation doing spending money that it has raised for charitable purposes in order to host a cocktail party to say thank you to the persons, firms and corporations that gave them money in order to do charitable works? And then the charitable organisation has the guts to boast about it by inviting the Guardian to send it's social reporter and photographer to record the event?!?

There is something grossly vulgar and obscene about this. It probably doesn't fall under the standard definition of "corruption" but to me this is as wrong as wrong can be! 

A charity doesn't raise money to help sick children and then go and blow a whole wad of it on a cocktail party to "thank" the people who gave them the money to help the sick kids in the first place!! 

A cocktail party like this will cost a cool $50,000 or more!! 

If the charity can do this, then the next thing is that the chairman of United Way will say that he needs a Rolls Royce or Mercedes Benz to reflect his status and the importance of his organisation. 

And don't laugh! Some so-called charities in the United States have done just that! I mean, to heck with helping sick kids (which is the raison d'etre for the organisation in the first place). Let's have a party complete with Johnny Walker Black to thank all these nice folks who gave us all this money so that we could have a party! And not just a party, but a party at the Hyatt!

No! This was wrong! Perhaps it is an explanation of why T&T has the stink of corruption surrounding it no matter what political party or parties we put in power. For if a charity can do this where its directors are so-called honourable people, and we accept that there is nothing wrong with this, then why should we complain when the politicians simply take it one step further?

Read more of Robin's writing at the RAG

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai