Saturday, June 20, 2009


Thursday evening Julie and I had the pleasure of attending the Robert Toigo Foundation 2009 Gala, celebrating the organization's 20th anniversary.

How did we mere mortals get so lucky? Courtesy of my old junior high buddy whom I've mentioned before in this blog, Alan Jones. His firm was one of the event's sponsors, purchasing a table seating 10 as a "silver sponsor." I checked out the Toigo website and noted that a silver sponsor table went for a cool $20K.. $2,000 per seat.

The purpose of the Foundation is an admirable one - to enable minorities to get into the field of finance by providing them with financing and mentoring. A pretty odd pairing comprised the emcees for the evening: Dan Rather and Cedric the Entertainer. A special award was given to Magic Johnson for his contributions to the Foundation.

The event, held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, began with a "networking reception" at 6:00, followed by dinner at 8:00 and then a post-event party that we didn't attend because it was too late.

We had an enjoyable time. Alan knows a lot of people in the financial world. As Julie and I were leaving, he told us, "Now you know what my life is like." He was there before the event, and though we were the last at our table (besides Alan) to leave, he had to stay around and mingle/network through the post-event party.

Here's some pictures (click to enlarge):

Cedric the Entertainer

Magic Johnson

Part of our table (the other 4 had left already)

That's Alan on the left side. Both he and I spent a large part of our time back at Foshay in orchestra. He played the double bass and I played a squeaky violin. He told me he still has that same bass. Mrs. Bicknell, our teacher, told him to take it home when he graduated because the music program was going downhill and she wanted a good home for it. Hey, she didn't let me take my violin home! Probably wanted to spare some people a lot of suffering, I suppose. I'm sure that bass was well cared for all these years; Alan is one of the most honest, upstanding persons I've ever known and he hasn't changed a bit except for being even taller now so it's good that he was sitting down in the picture.

I thought about what he said at the end - back in our Foshay days could we have ever imagined a day like Thursday? Forty years ago we went our separate ways and it wasn't until a couple of months ago our paths crossed again. I'm sure that got us both thinking about all the what if's since that time.

Anyway.. I'm just rambling here. I'm glad that after all these years, Alan and I could see each other again. And Michael, too (wrote about that in an earlier blog post --- actually TWO Michaels, although one I haven't seen yet). And John Jones - if ever for whatever reason you stumble across this blog/post, you had better stop and say hello!

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