And just like that we are almost halfway through 2019 and halfway through my presidency. It has been a remarkable year which kicked off with one of the best annual dinners I can recall, none bias opinion counted. Rick Mercer and our 1400 guests were treated to a great night, one that will be remembered; well until the 2019 annual dinner back again at its regular scheduled date, Thursday December 5th.
When the board met last September to plan our calendar of events for 2019, we specifically wanted to “change things up” for 2019. I believe one of our greatest assets as a board has been trying to keep everything fresh and new for our members. This recipe has proved most fortunate to us all as we have managed to sell out every event for the last 3 years, some in record fashion. A testament to all our members and a huge thanks from the board for your continued support. We have also been extremely honoured by the financial support of all our sponsors not only this year but all the past years. Simply put, we would not be able to host world class events without the continued support of our sponsors who have graciously donated time and funds to all the events. And to be clear all net profits from events are put into our scholarship funds that we have increased to four a year starting this year. More about that later.
This year we added our “Need for Speed” event at the Twenty7Club in Mississauga. To be honest, I was a tiny bit concerned how the event would be viewed and attended. That concern was quickly put aside when we announced its sellout a week prior. Peter Stefanovich, the chair of this event, really stepped up and knocked it out of the park. Despite some very inclement weather we had a full house that enjoyed some of the best food (oyster station was off the charts) and some of the finest cars in the Toronto. What club auctions off a Lamborghini? We received a lot of very positive feedback for this event and who knows... Need for Speed ll in 2020?
In keeping with our theme in 2019 of “change things up”, we also brought in the “British Invasion” for our Transportation Night. Another sold out crowd rocked the night away to the Beatles greatest hits. I don’t recall at anytime when we danced the band off the stage. You didn’t have to be British to have enjoyed our selections of the island’s finest fair. The Yorkshire pudding, the roast beef, fish & chips and bangers n’ mash were all over-the-top fantastic. Who knew British food could be that good! As is tradition, our Incoming 1st VP, Barbara Leece, was tasked with this evening’s success. Barb and her team really went above and beyond to bring us one of the greatest Transportation Nights in history!
Sold out yet again, our Spring Golf Tournament will kick off the summer and we all hope weather improves, followed by Ladies Lunch & Learn. I hope to see everyone out at these events for some much-needed R&R and as always, a whole day of laughter and networking. This fall we are working on yet another new event – Toronto Transportation takes on Oktoberfest! This is not to be missed. Grab your lederhosen, your tallest beer stein and join us for some Ohm-Pah-Pah’ing , Giant Pretzels and some traditional German Food!!!! Oktoberfest has not met the TTC but good things are in store.
As mentioned earlier, we are extremely proud of our scholarship fund. It has grown in size and stature with the TTC offering a total of 4 scholarships in 2019. We are increasing the dollar amount and the availability of members to apply for their sons and daughters. We are looking to add a line in our bylaw that will allow any corporate membership to put forward 5 names of their employee’s children. Normally a person had to be named as a corporate member, now we want to allow any (5 in total) gainfully full-time employees of said corporate member company to be eligible to apply.
New this year is “The Link”. I hope you have all taken the time to read our Newsletter. Actually, this article is in it, so if you are reading this you are reading “The Link”. We hope this will be an avenue to get our messages out to our members, but we also want it to be a vehicle in which we can share some stories about our membership. We have had some great articles on past members, and past presidents (Ernie Magee) to give us a little insight into the Club’s history. We have also asked our board and will be asking our membership for human interest stories. Something that shows the Toronto Transportation Club and its members philanthropic side. We really do provide a great deal back to our communities and we want the newsletters to recognize and give a shout out to these most deserving stories. If you recall in the winter edition this year, we had an unbelievable article about the support shown by our member’s companies for the “GET LOUD” program at sick kids’ hospital. There is nothing more special then helping Sick Kids Hospital and getting the message of “GET LOUD” out to all in our community. Bravo to Kathy Cartan, Sophie Byers and Guy Broderick for their help and support of this great program.
I also wanted to thank Denise Cardy. I am sure, like with all new Presidents and board members, she has had her moments of patience trying to herd us all in. She does it all with such grace and beauty that we all must stand and thank her for all her hard work. She truly is a tower of power. Finally, I would like to thank our board members who week in and week out volunteer their time, ideas and love the TTC. We have an extremely strong and diverse board that lends well to maintain our club as the largest and most successful in North America.
We have had a great first half of 2019 and we look forward to our continued success as one of the best social networking clubs in North America. I wanted to thank everyone again for their membership, their ideas and most importantly your support for our Club!!!
President, The Toronto Transportation Club