I was flabbergasted by the number of emails I received over the past few days telling me to get-on with the series . . . that they’ll read the political stuff later.
So here is PART SEVEN.
Even though from my previous SIX editorials on this subject, it would seem that nothing of this endeavor was worthwhile the aggravation I had to deal with, I can tell you with 100% sincerity, that the series of events that became almost one in the same with the Pledge on Parliament Hill were so worth the effort, that it is difficult to fully describe.
While the stupidity over costs on behalf of the R2R organizing committee was raging, I had far more pressing issues with which to deal, including what the finished agenda on Parliament Hill was going to be, and what exactly was going to be the agenda at CFB Trenton, since both of these events were 100% on me.
After the R2R committee’s EMERGENCY meeting . . . they concluded the following:
1 – They would reimburse me $800 for the cost of gas.
2 – They would pay the Rabbi $500 in the name of the Friendship Circle.
3 – They would pay the shipment costs that I picked-up for them in the USA.
4 – They will pay for Joyce Kaufman’s Ottawa hotel AFTER I paid for it and submitted a receipt.
5 – They would contribute $500 to the Afghanistan Repatriation Fund at Trenton.
6 – They would NOT ante-up the $500 that I had already given to them for the Maccabees.
7 – They would NOT pay $250 for incremental costs for Joyce Kaufman.
In the end, they were VERY pleased to announce to me that they had reached a great compromise, and in good faith, they had already sent a check to me in the amount of $1248.97 (notice the $0.97).
My response to this was immediate: I’M OUT.
I let them know that I will not leave anyone hanging as I conclude whatever I started in Toronto. And I will honor all of my commitments to the R2R vis a vis the Pledge of NEVER AGAIN on Parliament Hill.
I also told the committee that I will inform all the people I am associated with . . . such as; the Hotel Management, Joyce Kaufman, the Politicians, the M25, the HHR and the Professional Photographers . . . that I decided to focus on Trenton, the HHR, the National Memorial Ride, and would not be attending any part of the R2R in Toronto.
And that I will NOT inform the Toronto Police, since I just received in the mail a letter telling me that all Parade Permits have been rejected, but . . . they will still honor their agreement they made to me.
Lou DeVuono received the same letter for his (HHR) event.
If I had notified the Toronto Police that I was no longer associated with the Toronto R2R, I believe they would have revoked their escort support for the Ride through Toronto, since they had no such agreement with the R2R, and city budgets were already stretched to the limit, to the point that they were refusing any extra activities that drew on what was already an over-burdened drain on City finances.
Also . . . I made it abundantly clear to the organizing committee that I had no intention whatsoever of harming or diminishing any part of the R2R in spite of their nickel and dime way of handling an event of this importance.
AND THAT’S WHEN I ASKED VISITORS TO GALGANOV.COM FOR SUPPORT.
There were a great deal of costs that I all of a sudden had to cover, which included hotels, signage and banners. I had to pay for the Afghanistan Repatriation Pledge and a welcoming Bar B Q for the M25 Riders.
There were some big things to pay for, and smaller things such as two-dozen Long-Stemmed Red Roses to be laid at the Site where the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial was going to be built.
THERE WAS NO SHORTAGE OF GOOD PEOPLE WHO STEPPED-UP TO THE PLATE:
In contrast to the R2R organizing committee, worrying about nickels and dimes, and voting on what to pay or not to pay, or which promise to keep and which promise to break, quite a few people who visit Galganov.com who had no reason to help, came-through with financial support, which didn’t cover all the costs, but was indeed a huge help.
And there were many other people who helped in different but significant ways . . . For example; the dozen beautiful long stemmed roses I ordered could have easily cost $100 for the Afghanistan Repatriation Ceremony. But, when the Trenton Florist heard what the Roses were for, by way of Graeme Hume, she provided us with TWO-DOZEN long-stemmed roses for less than $50 total.
TALK ABOUT GRATITUDE:
Even though CFB Trenton had offered accommodations for the Thirty-Five M25 Riders at the very low price of $5.50 per person per night, plus the cost of towels, sheets, etc. they changed their mind.
After I volunteered to pay for the On-Base Welcoming Bar B Q and the effort I was putting into the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial, the Base waived all costs for the three nights that the M25 Riders would be using their facilities, including the costs of all linens and access to the Base Mess Hall.
Then there was the FREE lunch hosted by the Victory Motorcycle Dealer arranged by Lou DeVuono and Graeme Hume of the HHR, to be followed by a FREE Bar B Q supper courtesy of the CFB Trenton Legion.
It was remarkable and uplifting . . . not just for me, but for all of the Riders to see the number of people who Stepped-Up-To-The-Plate for no reason, other than because they simply wanted to contribute to this incredible series of events.
I know that the past SIX editorials on this subject have been dour, but that’s because I was exceptionally disappointed in the people I trusted. And in my world, I truly believe that the truth, even though it is very often bitter, is far better to tell, than is the alternative.
But, after all is said and written that transpired over this 6-day period, it was somewhat life changing for others and myself . . . making the reward very much worth all the pain.
The ONLY downside during all of this once all the events got-going, came once again from the R2R Organizing Committee, when Steve Stein and Gadi Prager went above and beyond themselves to shame the Jewish Community at CFB Trenton.
Remember the $500 the R2R Committee pledged to donate for the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial – Well . . . STEIN STIFFED EVERYONE in the most disrespectful way. And that’s why I decided to write this series of editorials.
I promise . . . after the next editorial where I explain what Stein did, or in this case didn’t do at CFB Trenton to shame an entire people, from there, it all becomes extremely positive and well worth the read.
Belt Drive Betty (Renee Charbonneau) who is a writer for a weekly motorcycle magazine chronicled the entire series of events from the Pocono’s to the R2R and everything in between.
Her videos will give you an extremely good picture of the positive.
If you copy and paste the three YouTube Links below this sentence, you can get a real feeling for the WEEK of NEVER AGAIN.
And The Truth Shall Set You Free – PART EIGHT will be published shortly.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov