WE|U|NIGHT Gala was a special evening of philanthropy and inspiration at Toronto’s Sound Academy on May 8, 2014. The Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation (MPCF), along with presenting sponsor RBC, hosted the 7th annual gala event called WE|U|NIGHT in support of international charity and educational partner “Free The Children,” co-founded by fellow philanthropists Craig and Marc Kielburger.
MPCF’s mandate is to prioritize those with the fewest resources, at home and around the world. This year, MPCF has committed to building 100 schools in Free The Children’s developing communities with the help of guests and donors.
Through Free The Children’s yearlong educational program called We Act, young people are empowered to discover the causes they care about and take action to make a difference. Since 2007, We Act has resulted in:
- Over 7,000 schools turning inspiration into action,
- 9.6 million hours volunteered,
- 4 million pounds of food collected in support of local food banks,
- 37 million dollars raised for local and global causes.
Guest speakers included: Martin Sheen, Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning actor; emcee of the night and one of Canada’s fastest rising comedians, Jay Martin; and live musical entertainment by Classified with David Myles; and Michael “Pinball” Clemons, CFL Hall of Famer and Vice Chair of the Toronto Argonauts, and co-founder of MPCF.
Martin Sheen delivered his passionate remarks, and challenged the crowd to achieve greatness. He peppered his speech with quotes from John F. Kennedy and Irish fables about courage and heart. “We are all responsible for each other, and the world,” he said. Sheen also touched on an Irish fable about end-of-life pondering, asking the crowd, “Wasn’t anything worth fighting for?”
As someone who’s had the pleasure and privilege of living in and visiting places in the developing world, the night’s theme was not lost on me. Martin Sheen’s wise words and those of others reminded me that I choose to fight for a future, which is better than the past, and to do something meaningful, including doing my part to give children around the world the very best opportunities life has to offer.
Dare to be great. Just give. To support this amazing cause and donate, please go to the Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation.