VICTORIA, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Smashing glass. Thousands of people out of control. A moment that should have been a huge national celebration exploded into mob violence June 15, 2011.
It was seeing the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver unfold before his very eyes that assured Victoria resident, former broadcasting executive Miles Craig, that he was right in his plan to create a new charitable foundation that would make Canada a better place. Rather than wring his hands or stay tuned to the television, Miles Craig decided to push ahead and offer his own solution to help mitigate excessive use of alcohol and drugs. Canada's Temperance Foundation (CTF) was founded on June 30, 2011, a non-profit registered charitable organization whose mission is to educate all citizens, young and old, on the benefits of temperance, defined as abstinence or restraint in the use of alcohol and drugs.
Over a year in the planning, with the help of Go West Design Group, Craig is launching CTF's campaign for temperance in Victoria, June 15.
Craig didn't have to look far to find an ally to help spread the word. As a pair of precocious ten year olds, Craig and his friend Gray Garten hung out at their cottages in Clear Lake, Manitoba. Garten was from the United States and eventually the two lost touch.
Each boy took a very different path. Craig went on to university, while Garten, riddled with addictions, dropped out of school and sank into years of alcohol and drug abuse. Somehow he managed to stop the descent, cleaned up his act and vowed to help others.
In 2010, fate brought the two boyhood friends together once again at the cottage. As adults they had something in common - a deep conviction that misuse of alcohol and drugs was an increasing danger to individuals, families and society. Was there room for a new organization with a simple, focused, secular, non-judgmental message about alcohol and drugs: abstinence or restraint?
"Like all Canadians, I was outraged by the alcohol fueled violence that occurred in Vancouver, tarnishing the image of the city and the country," said Craig. "The riot demonstrated the need and importance of promoting temperance in alcohol and drugs to the young and old of society." Craig's private interest in helping others live better lives moved onto the front burner.
After much research, and with the assistance of his old friend Garten, he developed Canada's Temperance Foundation. As head of CTF, Craig plans to be a hands-on CEO and the major source of initial funding for the foundation.