Top of the Night Speech

Table of Contents

Male speaker giving presentation

Our recent 20th Gala was a great success and the funds raised will go a long way in supplying enriching ‘over and above’ opportunities for 5000 local students.

The auction items were terrific and all in attendance had a truly great time.

But it was a speech made at the top of the night by our VP Tyler Schaefer that seemed to set the evening up. In it he rightfully honoured the who, what and why of the night and also cleverly highlighted what we have laboured to do for the last 25 years – bring experiences to the lives of children.

His words are worth sharing again:

“Hello, I am Tyler Schaefer and I am the vice-president of the Foundation for Education.  I teach at Listowel Central and my two girls also attend Listowel Central.

Tonight, I bring greetings from the board.  Before anything else, I would like to recognize the immense hard work and dedication that the Foundation employees demonstrate not just for tonight, but every day of the year.  It is simple fact, with no overstatement, that there would not be a Foundation without Wes, Lynda, Dana and Karen.  We all thank you.

I am also here to thank you.  Tonight is all about opportunity and experience.  Last year, I spoke about my experience as a student and how I was able to benefit from the Foundation through “Shakespeare on Wheels.”  And how that opportunity created a love of performance and production.

However, experiences that guide you can be anything. I think about Dennis and Laurie Nuhn, our 20th anniversary sponsors… with whom my first experiences was watching them on the stage for Music Alive, engaging me as youth in arts.  The list of how they have given me opportunity extends even further, but that is a speech for another time.

I think of my brother, Scott Schaefer, who is here tonight not only to support me and the Foundation, but also to represent Hoyes Michalos and Associates as the catalogue sponsor.  Through one conversation about choosing a university, he taught me about being who I want to be.

I think about D & D Automation, our event sponsor, and how just this week, I was emailing with one of their employees who shared how D & D wants to inspire children to be engaged with science through a project involving Mindstorm Lego.

These are three connections I have to my life and they are all sponsors.  However, I am sure our other sponsors: MicroAge Basics, Goderich Print Shop, BDO Dunwoody, RBC Dominion Securities, Marklevitz Architects Inc., Little, Masson, & Reid Professional Corporation, Smith-Peat Roofing and Sheet Metal Ltd, MNE Engineering, Canaccord Genuity Corp, Penrose Chiropractic Professional Corp, Canada Brokerlink, Clinton Raceway, ETFO, AMDSB Principal’s Council, Godbolt-Ciufo Insurance, Joan Perry as well as all those who donated time, items, or money have others with which they have had an impact.

Tonight is about arts, its about life, and it’s about opportunity.

Before I wrap up, I have a request.  I would like you to close your eyes.  Seriously, all of you.

If you are here tonight, chances are you have experienced success in some aspect of your life… whether it be your job, your finances, your choice of friends, you choice in love.  And likely, a piece of success you have had is due to an experience.  I ask you to think about what experience you had in your life, that has made such an impact in the success you experience today.  Perhaps this could even be part of your conversation at your table.

Because, tonight, the generousity you display, just might make that difference with someone who will sit in this room in another 20 years of this Gala or another 25 years of the Foundation.”

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