MONTREAL, Jan. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Mining industry VIPs attending last night's Canadian Mining Hall of Fame ceremony opened their hearts and their wallets and raised $900,000 for the earthquake relief effort in Haiti.
The devastating quake struck the impoverished Caribbean nation on January 13, destroying much of its capital, Port-au-Prince. The United Nation estimates that some 300,000 people have been displaced. Though it's still too soon to know the death toll, tens of thousands are feared dead.
The fundraising idea struck Hall of Fame director Ed Thompson as he read his morning paper yesterday. "We were having this big dinner with 800 people and I thought it would be a good idea," said Thompson. At first he thought of maybe a box by the door or passing the hat. Then he spoke to Pierre Lassonde, Chairman of Franco-Nevada Corporation, who would be acting as Master of Ceremonies that evening. They decided they could do better than that.
"We agreed to each donate $25,000 and try to get our friends to do the same - get a bit of a competition going," said Thompson. Lassonde announced the idea at the dinner and then the two men circulated among diners, collecting $900,000 from the around 400 attendees who scribbled their donations on the backs of their business cards. The donations will go to the Canadian Red Cross.
"It all happened between salad and dessert," said Thompson. "And there would have been more, but a lot of people had already made corporate or personal donations earlier that day. This catastrophe has reached the hearts of a lot of people."
The Government of Canada has said it will match all personal contributions Canadians make to the Haiti relief effort.
Seven members were inducted at the Hall of Fame 22nd annual induction ceremony, which took place at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, bringing the total number of inductees to 147. The new members include the three gold mining pioneers who first found gold in Timmins, Ontario a hundred years ago: Benny Hollinger, Sandy McIntyre and Jack Wilson. Also inducted were mining financier Peter M. Brown, of Canaccord Financial; economic geologist Hugo T. Dummett; Graham Farquharson, president of Strathcona Mineral Services; and Victor C. Wansbrough, longtime head of the Canadian Metal Mining Association.
Visit the CMHF web site at www.halloffame.mining.ca.
SOURCE Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM)
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