Saturday, October 22, 2011

wine and charity

I work for Microsoft, making video games and other interactive entertainment for the Xbox. This is a great job, something I should maybe elaborate on a bit in a future post. Microsoft offers lots of perks to employees, including the ability to spend a number of days a year doing charity work. This is company sponsored and organized which really encourages people to participate. When an email went out recently asking for people to volunteer, I signed up.

Yesterday I went over to the Westin Bayshore hotel by the Vancouver waterfront, where I was going to help set up for a large fundraising gala. This was a benefit for Canucks Place which is an organization that provides care to kids with life-threatening illnesses. I don't care much for ice hockey or the Vancouver Canucks for that matter, but this is a pretty cool charity they have going.
I was expecting to have to move tables and chairs and such to set up, but when I walked into the place, this was already taken care of. I was whisked away into a back room that was entirely crammed full of wine. These were all the bottles donated by various people for the silent auction and I was asked to help sort them out and set them up for display. The next few hours were very enjoyable, sorting bottles by country, matching them up with auction sheets and wheeling them into the large dining hall to display them for the silent auction.

These types of high-profile fundraisers tend to attract wealthy people and judging from the wine out there, there would be no shortage of high bidders. The top bottle was a 1996 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac valued at just over $1,000. There were many others, ranging in the hundreds of bottles, valued anywhere from $40 to $500. Quite the selection!

After the wine display was all sorted out, I spent a couple of hours tying ribbons to chairs (slightly less interesting!) after which we were thanked for our efforts and I headed home. Microsoft even catered our lunch, so thanks Microsoft, you are pretty cool.

Apologies for the extreme crappiness of the photos, the camera of the iPhone 3GS is really, really bad. I have a 4S on order, hopefully my future phonecam pics will be less of an eyesore...

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