|(L-R) Panelists James Carville and Karl Rove, Spirit of Hope Co-Chairs Judy and Paul Bronfman, Panelist Governor Mike Huckabee, Moderator Gloria Borger, and President and CEO of FSWC Avi Benlolo|
With more than 2000 guests and a record breaking $2.5 million raised to support FSWC efforts to promote tolerance, social justice and human rights, Spirit of Hope 2012 was a smashing success! This year’s Spirit of Hope Gala located at the AllStream Center on the grounds of the CNE included a riveting panel debate between Republicans Karl Rove, the former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush alongside past Republican Presidential Candidate Governor Mike Huckabee versus Democrats James Carville, political pundit and regular commentator on CNN and Donna Brazile, political strategist campaign manager columnist author and CNN contributor. The debate was moderated by CNN’s Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.
Over 1200 guests attending the Major Gifts Dinner (the biggest dinner crowd to date!) had the opportunity to watch a private concert performed by Kim Mitchell and participate in the special Award Ceremony in honour of L.Gen Charles Bouchard (Ret'd), recipient of the Order of Canada for his role as leader of NATO's military campaign in Libya (on behalf of Canadian Forces), while more than 2100 guests attending the main presentation Panel Debate were ushered into the ballroom by the HMCS YORK Marching Band, a part of our own Canadian Army.
The main topic of the evening was whether or not the world is a safer place under President Obama. Audience members not only watched the debate take place but each had the opportunity to contribute their opinions via text to the polls that were displayed on the various screens as the debate progressed. After over 2000 votes the final tally was 51% to 49% who felt the world is not a safer place since Obama took office.
In fact, it was Stephen Harper that was the true winner that night. Huckabee’s comment on the continuous support of Stephen Harper for Israel was answered by the audience with a standing ovation.
Spirit of Hope 2012 was truly a night to remember!