I got a phone call this morning from someone representing the Lion's Club asking if I'd like to sponsor some kiddies to go see this year's edition of The World Festival of Magic at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
Now I'm well aware of this show, as it comes back year after year and raises lots of money for charity and gives employment to a lot of local entertainers. Sue-Anne and I have been approached to do the tour several times as well.
So I listened to the lady give her sales pitch and I was a little surprised at what she said.
First she told me that last year generous businesses like mine enabled 15,000 disabled kids to see the magic show. That seemed like a pretty high number. I asked "In Melbourne?" Yes, she confirmed that 15,000 kids saw the show in Melbourne last year.
As the venues (MCEC and Festival Hall) only seat 1,500 max, that means ten shows. But they didn't do ten shows in Melbourne last year.
She told me she was in charge of making sure all the kids from the special schools in Northcote got to see the shows. I asked her which special schools they were (there's only two I'm aware of) but she said she didn't know.
Fair enough, she's probably just employed by a service and is working in a phone room, but when you're asking businesses to donate around $50 per child to attend a magic show you must expect them to have a few questions. I think it's really important that the telemarketers are given enough information to be able to answer those questions, otherwise the whole thing looks really dodgy and the Lions Club doesn't deserve to have it's named tarnished in that way.
Anyway, the show will start it's Australian tour up in Cairns on September 10. I believe Magic2 are presenting the bulk of the show again, with James Dimmare as one of the special guests.
They'll be performing 3 shows in Melbourne on Sunday October 25 at the MCEC.