Before Christmas some time I showed up at my girlfriend's house, surprised to see she was all excited because her cousin and his family had arrived into town.
The visitors had left the house by the time I got over there, but she was over-ecstatic that her cousin knew a former Russian hockey star personally.
She had never heard of him, and could not pronounce a name resembling any Russian hockey star I had ever heard of. Eventually we figured out that the hockey player he knew was none other than Vladislav Tretiak.
"Yeah, right" was my obvious reaction. I did not believe it. All of her family that I had known to that point had all lived in small town northwestern BC. How does this cousin I had never heard of before know Vladislav Tretiak?
Well it turns out he's a big wig with Cisco, based in Moscow and doubling with organizations like CERBA, the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association. He gets to meet a lot of famous people like Prime Ministers and hockey players.
I eventually did meet him and his family. He's a real interesting guy with some impressive stories to share, yet very much at ease in the local, small town watering hole.
He even promised me he would get me a signed Tretiak jersey when he met up with the goaltending great for the 8th annual CERBA Silent Auction in February.
I never doubted he would be a man of his word. I never would ask for such a favor myself, although it seems my girlfriend sent out a few reminders.
Well guess what I got this past week!
There is only one way I can repay him. And that is to tell you guys about the CERBA charitable pursuits.
CERBA teams up with the Vladislav Tretiak Foundation annually for a silent auction and cocktail. This year they raised over $127,000 US, with the money goes to children's, social and family institutions in Saratov and the Russian regions.
The CERBA website does offer online sales of items for charity fund raising, although I am not completely positive the sale is still active.
Thanks again Sheldon.