Pictured: Ariel Brown-Cruz (Past Camper and Current Reach Ambassador), Naomi Snieckus and Matt Baram (Hosts).
On Saturday night, our faith in humanity was restored thanks to the incredible generosity displayed by all who attended the 30th Annual Crystal Ball Gala at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This incredible charity event that Naomi and I had the privilege of hosting is a fundraising vehicle for one of the coolest organizations in town – Reach For The Rainbow.
Reach is a not-for-profit organization that has pioneered the integration of children and youth with disabilities into the mainstream of society through overnight, day and community recreation programs throughout Ontario. They’ve created over 40 recreational camps and programs across Ontario that help thousands of kids have the chance to play, grow and make memories that last a lifetime.
It can be very easy for us in these dark and precarious times to think that humanity is propelling itself down an unceasing spiral towards our ultimate doom. We are undoubtedly heading into what appears to be a hostile or at the very least an unpredictable period of our lives. The most recent world events fuel these notions. Brexit reminded us that not all British people are polite. Teflon Don reminded us that even stupid people can be president. And I just read that Adobe is working on “Photoshop for Voices”, conveniently allowing both the bored and the evil among us to manipulate what we actually say in every terrifyingly conceivable way. This pattern of apparent self sabotage can put us into a state of mind where we think that the good people of the world must be dwindling. That there aren’t wonderful philanthropic, supportive people on this planet who are looking out for the most vulnerable among us.
That’s why it’s such a welcome breath of fresh air to be reminded that there are organizations that do look out for the common good. People that raise money for families who need help. People who do things out of the goodness of their own hearts in the midst of a confused world seemingly populated by folks looking out for themselves and their own selfish fancies. Good people still exist. And they out-number the bad. They may not be loud and brash and popular and all over our television sets and social media feeds. They quietly go about their business of helping people not because they have personal agendas but because they know how important it is to do so.
On Saturday we witnessed a room full of people raise an estimated $300,000 for a wonderful cause that will help kids with disabilities get a chance to make new friends, gain new life experiences and reach their full potential. As the world leans more and more to the right, as it does from time to time, it’s very reassuring to be reminded that there will always be balance in the world. As long as we also have decent people around and organizations like Reach For the Rainbow in our world, we know we’ll be okay.
Special thank you to Executive Director of Reach For The Rainbow Dawn MacDonald and her amazing team as well as Founder Donna Trella.
Matt and Naomi