"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Take me out to the ball game

New Spiritual leader of the Moment - Paul Grewal

Unless you or your kids attend Carlton Village Public School in Toronto, you might never have heard of Paul Grewal. I heard about him on CBC radio's consistently excellent As It Happens program back in April, but try as I might, I haven't been able to find any supporting stories to link to for more information about him, so all of the following is drawn from his April 22 radio interview.

Mr. Grewal is a well regarded French teacher at the school of about 400 students. Last year, he took 77 students on an outing to a Toronto Blue Jays Game. A group of students from another school sang the national anthems at the game and Grewal thought this would a great thrill for the kids from his school, so this season he worked to make that happen. In order to give the kids the opportunity to sing out on the diamond, the Toronto Blues Jays front office asked for a group customer account of at least $7,000. So Grewal stepped up to the plate and plunked down his VISA card and paid for 300 $25 tickets.

Teachers were encouraged to get all their students to sign up for the April 21 trip to see Toronto Blue Jays take on the Detroit Tigers in an afternoon game. Buses were laid on and money was collected for the buses and tickets sold to the students. According to Grewal, the school choir sang well and the proverbial good time was had by all, even though the Jays lost 5-1 to the Tigers.

The Jays weren't the only ones to lose out. The total bill for the day was $8,500 - all of it paid for up front by Grewal out of his own pocket. Selling 300 tickets to 400 students didn't work out quite as well as Grewal had hoped, in fact he fell about $4,000 short of getting his money back. The Blue Jays organization was sympathetic and the following day arranged to give him 120 ticket vouchers he could sell or use, but even if he manages to sell all of them he is still left holding a $1,000 bag.

Asked if he would do it again, Grewal said he probably wouldn't do it next year, but possibly the following year. The school will be doing some fundraising activities and he will probabaly be paid back eventually.

Teachers in Toronto are paid between $37,440 for a rookie and $77,576 for a very well qualified veteran nearing retirement, so $8,500 is a pretty big chance to take to put a smile on some students' faces. Grewal and his friends may be going to a lot of Jays games this summer, but a $4,000 VISA bill on what I'm guessing is a junior teacher's salary is not chump change.

For actions above and beyond the call of duty, Paul "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" Grewal is the Woodshed's Spiritual Leader of the Moment.


Gazetteer said...

Fantasmagoric story Rev.

And an excellent S.L.O.M. indeed.

Still, I can't help but wonder what circle of heckfire has been staked out for the cheap and vindictive manager of the BJay ticket office.

Now if this had been a minor league team......


the rev. paperboy said...

actually I thought the Jays came off rather well in the whole thing - they did give him vouchers for the tickets he couldn't sell after all, when they could have been real dicks and just told him the remaining 120 tickets were worthless paper once the game they were purchased for was over.