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April 13, 2008

A Dreadful Event

I recently attended a fundraiser for movement disorders. It was the worst one ever. During the event I excused myself, and hung out in the gold-plated restroom until I thought the guest speaker was done with her awful, dreadful, unpleasant, and simply terrible speech.

She was a well-known actress who thought we would all be as interested in her life story as she was, including many lurid and explicit details. Her juicy speech seemed to go on forever, making me think the event planners had either not given her a time limit, or that she had ignored it. However, she forgot to mention that there are over 40 million Americans living with a movement disorder today (source: http://www.life-in-motion.org).

The event was for the supporters of a medical school and their expanding movement disorder program. It was all about science, saving lives, research, and how we could help (hint: $$$$). However, I found the disconnect between the speaker and the purpose of the event unbearably painful. I later felt badly for the event planners who had put that one together. But I had heard it all before at other events that I had attended – the galas, dinners, symposiums, “think-tank scientific forums,” “dog walks,”  golf invitational events at exclusive high-end golf  clubs (I certainly was no golfer -- not with my head twisting to the left -- where do you think the ball landed on the greens ?).

At all of these events, there was little focus on actual patients living with movement disorders.
The gist of the event really was that we all wanted to see the celebrity of the evening. Right? Well, I saw her. No doubts about that. But, where was the money for patient care? The movement disorder program? Perhaps forgotten in the focus of the evening.

Maybe we should keep it simpler and keep the emphasis where it should be. How about a fundraiser called “Pizza for a Purpose?!”

April 13, 2008 in Beka | Permalink


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