WOOF WOOF: Winnipeg Humane Society CEO Bill McDonald is best known for loving animals, but he's also a great sport. To become the Wizard of Paws at the recent Bow Wow Ball fundraiser Saturday at the Fairmont, he stuck his head through a big piece of white plastic so they could film it, and then creative types took it to a special- effects guy for the green, fuzzy effect around it. Disguised as the wizard, McDonald's head appeared on the screen, front and centre, to ask people to take their seats, which they happily ignored three or four different times. (Who is that bossy guy?). He had better luck with the welcome speech.
Director of development Christine Boult says the Bow Wow Ball sold out at 500 generous souls. The decor included a yellow-brick-road dance floor and clips of the Judy Garland movie. SPOTTED: Free Press publisher Bob Cox and his wife, occupational therapist Lena Cox; Magellan Vacations owner Dianna Davidson, MTS president Kelvin Shepherd, Johnson Waste Management owner Eric Johnson, Paul's Hauling's Paul Albrechtsen and his wife, Mary Lou Albrechtsen, Silver Jeans CEO Michael Silver, Parrish & Heimbecker president Bill Parrish, Domo Gas director Doug Everett, provincial cabinet minister and Riel MLA Christine Melnick, Pinnacle owner Wade Miller, Alpha Masonry owner Gus Koutoulas and Bardal Funeral Homes owner Kevin Sweryd.
Colleen Furlan, a finalist in the CBC reality series Over the Rainbow, sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow as people sat down to eat dinners with giant centrepieces of apples, like the ones thrown by the apple trees that came alive in the Wizard of Oz.
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FRIENDLY WINNIPEG: Clara Scott, an actress in Winnipeg Studio Theatre's new offering, Ordinary Days, which runs Nov. 21-25, says she's feelin' the love from Winnipeggers.
"I read an article in the Huffington Post about paying it forward and that Winnipeggers are possibly the nicest people in North America," says the 24-year-old Torontonian.
And here's Scott's Winnipeg rescue story: "I arrived here in the unplowed snow after the storm and I had these little high-heeled suede boots. I went to do the motherlode of shopping on Taylor Avenue, but I was using my phone for directions and I got going the wrong direction and ended up eight blocks out of my way at the Pilates studio at Academy and Ash. I stood there in all this unplowed snow and dropped the bags and bags of groceries and started to shiver.
"Two ladies who had come out of pilates nearby said, 'Oh my God, what's up with you?' and picked up my grocery bag and said, 'Follow us,' and without thinking, I just followed! They took me to their house and offered me hot chocolate and then drove me home nine blocks away. It was a lady called Ellie and her friend."
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BEST BET TONIGHT: Singer Lisa Windsor just returned from winning Disney's American Idol contest for the third time, which offered her a fast track to the real American Idol contest once again. But she can't collect because she's... Canadian. Still, Windsor's profile is growing. The Casinos of Winnipeg invited her to play tonight and Saturday night at Club Regent's Jaguars nightclub with an all-star band.
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VLT ADDICTION TREATMENT: It's not often a shrink invites the city to tea at his house. Winnipeg psychiatrist Clyde Manswell has just brought out a new book, It Takes 2 to Tango, Maybe 3: A Serendipitous Discovery in the Treatment of VLT Gambling Addiction. Manswell, who has practised for 30 years in Winnipeg, is so excited about his new discovery he's inviting colleagues, scientists, students, neighbours and VLT addicts over for the launch on Saturday at his house at 18 Corbeil Pl. There will be two sittings -- at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Manswell's book is about the successful treatment for gambling buddies who travel in pairs or small groups to play the machines, and have to quit together or can't do it.
It Takes 2 to Tango -- Maybe 3, by Your Nickel's Worth Publishing, is available at Prairie Sky Books, at Manswell's home launch and at Indigo online.
Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 204-474-1116, email Maureen.Scurfield@Winnipegfreepress.com , or send letters to Maureen Scurfield, c/o The Insider, 1355 Mountain Ave., R2X 3B6.