A very close and dear friend from the Seagram days told me the following story about another charitable dinner event that I’d like to share…
One of the Seagram companies in the past was Four Roses and they had a metro New York manager named Nick Cotter. Nick was not only an ex-cop in NYC but he had been shot five times in a police action/raid. He nearly died and in fact was taken for dead if not for the persistence of an emergency medic.
After months and months of recovery and rehabilitation Nick was on his feet and decided on a new line of work. Four Roses hired him. Nick turned out to be very important to Seagram inasmuch as he became a conduit to the police and fire departments when things needed to get done. (More about this at another time.)
Well, as the story goes, shortly after joining the company he was at a charity dinner. But, in those days there were no pre-meeting to announce your “gift” – you were expected to announce it publicly in a ballroom with 500+ people.
As they were going down the list, someone from Schenley was called and announced, “Schenley Distillers is proud to donate one million dollars.”
Nick Carter, who didn’t know what to expect or make of this event in the first place, was called next. His colleagues were hysterical thinking that they put one over on him.
He stood up, was very calm and announced, “I donate one million and twenty-five dollars from Schenley and Nick Cotter.”
The room erupted in laughter.