WE NEEDED MONEY.
The day hardly passed without Steve Stein fighting-it-out with the JMA over covering costs. And instead of moving forward, all I heard from Stein was how he was going to take the JMA apart . . . how he “built” it, and how he will destroy it.
And how the JMA “Picked the wrong guy to F— With.”
And every time we had this discussion, my sentiments were exactly the same. Let’s worry about raising our own money NOW, and going after the JMA later.
Frankly, because of the early attitude of some of the JMA members who were opposed to the M25 Riders riding with us, I too had no love for the JMA, but, one thing had nothing whatsoever to do with the other.
GILA TO THE RESCUE:
I mentioned Gila’s name in one of the past (And The Truth Shall Set You Free) editorials as one of the good guys on the R2R organizing committee, and indeed she was. On her own . . . Gila single-handedly came up with a tremendous incentive for raising funds, as much money as we would need to cover all of the costs ($6,000) to get the job done.
So – everyone on the committee was charged with raising a portion of the money, which no one thought would be a difficult task, since the Toronto (YOW) motorcycle club had as Stein had repeatedly told me about 120 members.
In fact, during the fundraising committee meeting and subsequent conversations, it was assumed that we could raise as much as DOUBLE the $6000 I needed, to as much as $20,000. And given the incentive, there really was no reason for that not to happen.
As much as it would have been nice to raise more than $6000, that’s all we needed to cover the fixed and agreed upon costs. So, off everyone went with their obligation to raise money.
THINK OF THIS – AND THEN SHAKE YOUR HEAD AS I DID:
In the space of about one to two weeks, which was all the time we had agreed upon to raise the money amongst 120 YOW members and others, I PERSONALLY RAISED ONE THIRD OF EVERYTHING THAT WAS COLLECTED.
We did indeed raise $6000 in this time span, with me raising $2,240.
This more than anything shows how disengaged the YOW executive were to this task. When I asked Gadi Prager, the YOW club president how he was doing with his fund raising drive, he proudly told me: “I raised two hundred dollars.” That was it . . . Prager went to a few neighbors, raised $200 and quit.
When I heard how detached these folks were in doing what had to be done. I was more than just a bit disappointed. But, at least we had the $6000 to cover the commitments from my end.
BEFORE I CONTINUE – THE COMMITMENT TO THE CFB REPATRIATION FUND.
I asked the Montreal Club (Maccabees), to which I am a member, to hold a meeting where I could pitch them for the fundraiser, and for a $500 donation for the CFB Trenton Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial Fund.
So . . . at the Maccabees meeting, they anted-up $500 for the Repatriation Fund, and about $400 for the fundraiser, which amounted to the $2,240 I raised from all sources in cash, which I disposed of thusly:
$2000 – For the Sound System.
$200 – For the HHR Patches.
$40 – For a next day mailing to Steve Stein.
Now that those obligations were paid for – the outstanding balance was:
$500 – For the Rabbi’s Friendship Circle.
$200 – For Joyce Kaufman’s Ottawa hotel room.
$250 – For Joyce Kaufman’s incremental costs.
$500 – For fuel costs for 4 round trips to Toronto.
$300 – Fuel costs for 6 round trips to Ottawa.
$400 – Taxes and receiving costs to pick-up baseball caps (twice) in the USA.
$1000 – For the Afghanistan Repatriation Fund, since he Maccabees already paid their $500.
I didn’t include the airline ticket for Joyce Kaufman, since Stein assured me that the JMA would cover that.
I didn’t include the $250 for incremental costs for David Solway, the keynote banquet speaker, since Solway was the guest of the YOWS, and if they didn’t want to show him that little extra touch of respect, that was on them.
So – what I submitted were the outstanding obligations in the realm of $3150.
AND THIS IS WHAT I RECEIVED IN RETURN . . . NO!
We will pay you for your gas, even though you saw some clients when you were in Toronto on R2R business. How’s that for Chutzpah?
We might pay for your costs for fuel in Ottawa, even though that wasn’t really for the R2R.
But . . . from one member of the committee he said: We would appreciate it if you could set up a detailed spreadsheet to account for all of your trips backed-up with invoices for gas. It seems to me that he and the others were somewhat math challenged.
I guess it was too difficult for them to multiply the roundtrip distance in miles between where I lived to Toronto and back, then divide how many miles per gallon, times the cost of gas, and then multiply the number of trips to come up with the total owing.
We will NOT pay for Rabbi Leibele Rodal’s Friendship Circle, because we’re already paying for his room and his meals at the R2R. I guess that the Rabbi making a special trip EXCLUSIVELY for the benefit of the R2R and the Pledge on the HILL is somehow an entitlement for them.
We will not pay $250 for Joyce Kaufman’s incremental costs, since we’re paying for her flight and hotel rooms at the host hotel including her meals.
We will not pay for Joyce Kaufman’s Ottawa hotel in advance without an invoice from the hotel, even though they already knew what the hotel costs were, since they’ve booked their own rooms for the Pledge on the HILL.
They would not pay the $40 for the special next day mailing to Stein because it was unnecessary to send it next day. That one really got to me.
In all – The committee decided to cover “some” of the costs.
I WAS INCREDULOUS . . . MY RESPONSE TO THEM WAS SIMPLE:
“Either you pay 100% of these costs NOW, or you can consider me out of the Toronto R2R.” Furthermore – “We have a verbal and written agreement between myself and the R2R organizing committee chairman. And one third of the money raised to pay for all these costs was raised by me.”
To tell you that I couldn’t believe this crap, over what amounted to nickels and dimes, after I spent more than 6 months of FULL TIME work, and a great deal of my own money to put all of this together is an understatement out of all proportions.
No matter how hard I tried to wrap this penny-ante insult around my brain, I couldn’t. When this committee had no money whatsoever, they could not have been nicer and more grateful to me for what I brought to everyone for FREE, and all the other things I brought to the table.
BUT . . . The moment they had some cash in the bank, they all of a sudden became auditors worrying about things like – Why should we give Galganov $2000 for the sound system when he actually paid $1987.97?
Imagine that – Me screwing the organizing committee out of $12.03 because I rounded up from $1987.97 to $2000. Now if that isn’t an accounting crime – What is?
While all of this was happening, I was getting emails and phone calls from Stein complaining that the YOW logo wasn’t included in the TENS of THOUSANDS of dollars of advertising I supplied in Ottawa on Radio and in Print at NO CHARGE. I guess that wasn’t worth the $12.03 I OVERCHARGED for the sound system.
I also received a demand from Stein to have my artist make changes to the printed ads over two issues:
1 – Stein wanted the YOW logo included in all of the print advertising, even though NONE of this was about the YOWS.
2 – Stein was VERY upset that in the ads (print and radio) I highlighted “CHRISTIANS AND JEWS COMING TOGETHER TO PLEDGE NEVER AGAIN” instead of “JEWS and CHRISTIANS”.
By this time, I had had MORE than enough of Stein, Prager and the organizing committee.
In what would be my third to last verbal conversation with Stein; my third being on Parliament Hill, I made it clear to him that since he and the committee paid NOTHING for any of the advertising, nor for any art services their input deserved nothing.
And when it came to who would be mentioned first between Christians and Jews standing together on Parliament Hill, IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE CHRISTIANS STANDING WITH US – NOT THE OPPOSITE.
And as much as it bothered me to do so, I did include the YOW logo in the ads, simply because I couldn’t stand the nattering and whining of Steve Stein.
THEN CAME THE FIRST THREAT:
I received an email from Gadi Prager letting me know that Stein, the CHAIRMAN of the organizing committee did NOT have the RIGHT to make any commitments on behalf of the R2R organizing committee. That changed my way of thinking from; I was dealing with incompetents – to I was dealing with people who had an extreme lack of honor.
Then . . . in the same email, was the threat – that if I don’t come to the R2R in Toronto, they would inform all the YOWS and the JMA to boycott Ottawa, and that I should remove all references of the R2R and the YOWS from the Pledge on Parliament Hill.
My response was simple: Today is Thursday, so it might take a few days to remove all references of the R2R and YOWS from any and all Parliament Hill advertising and promotion until Monday.
BUT . . . BY MONDAY – ALL REFERENCE TO THE YOWS AND R2R WILL BE REMOVED.
I should also mention that my level of trust in the integrity of Stein and Prager was reduced to zero. So, instead of just communicating with them, I copied everyone on the committee on all communications, so no one would be able to say that they didn’t know.
But it didn’t end there . . . I guess the idea of not being included in the signature event of the R2R (the Pledge on Parliament Hill), by the threat of Gadi Prager to boycott was too much to lose.
I received panicked phone calls from several members of the committee asking me to keep their names private, but, telling me NOT to do anything, because an emergency meeting of the organizing committee and YOW executive was being convened on Sunday to settle this whole thing.
. . . And that I will be very pleased with a compromise.
My response to them was clear . . . I am not in the negotiating mood. And I am not interested in any compromise. JUST PAY WHAT YOU’RE COMMITTED TO PAY AS PART OF OUR VERBAL AND WRITTEN AGREEMENT.
In the next installment of – And The Truth Shall Set You Free – PART SEVEN – you will get a better understanding of why I asked visitors to Galganov.com to help out with the funding of the Pledge of NEVER AGAIN on the HILL.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov