1/500 chance of winning a new car

Congratulations to Chaya Cooperberg for winning the 2013 Honda Civic!

Thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket and supported the amazing O’Connor Clarke family!

 

****TICKETS ARE NOW SOLD OUT**** 

 

What better way to raise money than with a raffle for a new car?!

We’re offering the incredible opportunity to win a brand new Honda Civic just in time for the holidays. Talk about a great Christmas present, and for a good cause!

Tickets are $50 and only 500 tickets will be sold. Those are amazing odds!

To buy a raffle ticket:

  • Click on the yellow “Donate” button on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • Tickets are being sold in multiples of $50. We will determine the number of tickets ordered based on the amount donated.
  • Select your payment method (PayPal or credit card).
  • Click on “Additional Information” and type in your name, email address and phone number.
  • Submit your donation and we’ll email you a scanned copy of your ticket.

***Please note that the email with your ticket will not be instantaneous. If you do not receive it within 48 hours, please contact ashleigh.cartier@mediaprofile.com. 

The draw will take place on December 7, 2012 and the winner will be contacted by phone and email.

Good luck to all who enter!

meshmarketing after party in support of the O’Connor Clarke family

In support of Michael’s family, we’d like to invite you to join us at the meshmarketing after party to help raise much-needed funds for Michael’s family.

We’ll be selling raffle tickets for various prizes ranging from a Toshiba Excite tablet to a 3-night Delta hotel stay to an Epson photo printer.

Plus, you can purchase raffle tickets for the chance to win a brand new 2012 Honda Civic! Only 500 tickets will be sold!

All proceeds from raffle tickets sales will go directly to the O’Connor Clarke family.

 

Date: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Time: 5 – 8 p.m.
Location: The Pilot, 22 Cumberland Street, Toronto, ON

 

Thank you for your continued support!

Eulogy

Michael O’Connor Clarke

A Eulogy given at the Funeral Mass on 20th October 2012

My beloved brother, Michael, was at once a restless spirit and a man rooted in his home and family life. It is conventional to say of a departed loved one that he was a family man, but Michael’s love for his wife and children formed the centre of all that he did and was; and he was fuelled and sustained by the unconditional love of Leona, Charlie, Lily and Ruairi. The many friends and extended family members who looked on anxiously as Michael fought against illness have been stirred by the resolution and endurance shown by Leona, who stayed by Michael’s side throughout each day of what became the weeks and months of Michael’s struggle. Brave and devoted parents produce brave and devoted children. Not many fifteen, thirteen, and nine year olds could show the dignity and fortitude that Charlie, Lily and Ruairi have shown, and are showing today.

As the many tributes to Michael posted on blogs and other social media show, Michael was an example and mentor to many working in the fields of public relations and commercial and personal networking. A mentor Michael was, and also a rescuer. Michael’s courage in the face of the onslaught, for such it was, of the cancer that took his life, is typical of the physical and moral courage that Michael showed throughout his life. I have seen Michael the rescuer wade into the middle of a group of armed thugs to pluck their victim to safety, saving that man’s life. Michael the rescuer could not pass by a homeless person without putting his hand to his pocket, and Michael the rescuer went on to help establish HoHoTo, now a beacon of social concern for the Toronto homeless. Michael was a clear-sighted social and political progressive. A patriotic but not nationalistic Irishman, and adoptive Canadian, Michael championed the values of civil society, tolerance and openness which so distinguish Canada.

Michael’s moral courage was reflected also in his professional work, in which he was a principled advocate for his clients, promoting integrity in a world of spin. Michael was a pioneer of and forthright commentator on the emerging world of social media, always stressing honesty in communication. He latterly found colleagues of like minds and principles at Media Profile, where he is much missed.

I am perhaps making Michael sound too serious, too much a paragon. Michael was, of course, a man of great merriment and wit. His childhood love of the absurd and the plain silly never left him. I was in the year above Michael at our staid and somewhat oppressive secondary school in the West Midlands of England. I tried to rebel, but, alas, my parents wouldn’t let me. Michael’s rebellious instincts were stronger, and he baffled the stuffy school, which simply could not get its head around a boy so bright but also so non-conformist. So it was that Michael was the first of us to kiss a girl who was not his cousin (and when you’re Irish, that is quite something), Michael was the only one of us to play in a rock band (the “Civil Servants” – they were rubbish!), and Michael was the only one of us to wrap a car around a tree, emerging unscathed and laughing from that adventure, and many others

When Michael grew up, his driving improved. He was in fact the fastest driver I know, who never made me feel unsafe whilst driving at speed. On his last visit to England last year, to support our mother as she waged her own battle with ill health, Michael gracefully spun my 1970 Jensen Interceptor whist exploring the limits of oversteer on a frosty roundabout, and as gracefully recovered. Michael’s sporty little car here in Toronto is currently refusing to drive, no doubt in protest at the loss of its pilot.

Michael’s sense of the whacky grew ever stronger. He delighted in language, and in the comedy of words. Michael once thought of becoming an actor, and loved performance, but he could as well have been a comic scriptwriter of brilliance. He became instead an acutely perceptive commentator on corporate language and communication, and on the phenomena of language and discourse in the wired age. In conversation, Michael could tire the Sun with talking, and send it down the sky, and we did so many times, but not often enough.

Michael loved to ski, loved to jump into a cottage country lake, loved to cook, loved to argue the correct specification of a Martini. Michael sparkled in the company of men and of women, but only had eyes for Leona. He energised people around him, and could rescue a gloomy brother from the Black Dog, from thousand of miles away with a single email.

Michael supported many, mentored many, and rescued many, but in the end he could not rescue himself, or be rescued, when cancer came at him, with no warning, like a Blitzkrieg. Michael’s personal Dunkirk lasted for four months; and in the end he was one of those who stood in the rearguard and fought to the last bullet, and did not make it to the boats.

Now we face his loss, and his eloquent voice and graceful pen are silenced. Michael would not wish for us to be silent. He would want us to talk about him, to laugh at his jokes, and to carry on his rescuing. Whether it’s rescuing a homeless person from loneliness and want, or rescuing the apostrophe from abuse at the hands of the ungrammatical, Michael would wish us to continue as he did.

Before closing, I offer, on behalf of Leona and the children, on behalf of my mother Kay and my father Joe, who have suffered the hurt that each parent dreads the most, on behalf of my brothers Eamonn and Kieron, on behalf of Ann, Cathal, Wendy and Dwayne, and the extended O’Connor and Clarke families our profound gratitude to the doctors, nurses and carers of St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, for their painstaking, professional and compassionate care of Michael, and to the network of friends who gathered around Michael as he fought, and gather with us here today. Thank you.

I will end with words not my own, but of the seventeenth century metaphysical poet and divine, John Donne, a writer whom Michael, a student and lover of English literature, admired. Donne, like many of his generation, was much exercised by the idea of death, and struggled with issues of faith and redemption. He it was who wrote, famously, that no man is an island, entire of itself. Each man’s death, he observed, diminisheth me. Today, we are diminished by the loss of my dear brother Michael, but Donne gives us words of defiance, saying:-

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Tribute to Michael from a distance

It is with a heavy heart I write this as we pack our bags to travel once more to Toronto to be with our sister Leona and three wonderful children.

Our hearts bleed for Leona, Charlie, Lily, Ruairi and Mam and all we can do is hold their hand and share fond memories of a beloved soul that was gifted to our family when he met Leona. Our hearts also ache for Kay who has fought the long battle side by side with Michael, and equally for Joe who has shared with us all his unequivocal love for his son, whose tweets gave Michael strength and brought emotion and heartfelt sorrow to everyone who was watching. Eamonn, Gerard and Kieron have lost a brother who was in his prime and we share their grief.

I still cannot believe that Michael has moved to a better place, that he is at peace and that his horrible illness can hurt him no more – this reality will dawn on us when we once again set foot on Canadian soil.

To us, thoughts of Michael only bring happy memories. As my mind races with clips of his company – many of which have been on replay for most of the last few months, I am happy to recount some of the headlines…

Michael entered our lives in Valleymount at Leona’s 21st and has remained part of our family ever since. He became a regular fixture at Christmas and his cooking prowess gained significant brownie points with Dad (I liked him more for his Sega to be honest).

On Christmas Eve, 1992, (or perhaps very early Christmas Day), Michael fell into bed beside me with a great big dirty grin – “I am going to marry your sister” was the sentence that followed. As we were sharing a room I told him to go and shite and get into his own bed. Having thought about this piece of information I asked him to repeat what he had said as this event would mean significantly increased access to his Sega. Michael showed me the ring, had just asked Dad for the honour of marrying Leona and I was chuffed to be the second person to be told. He duly went on bended knee around the tree the next morning and produced the ring, asked the question and she said “yes” – why wouldn’t she, sure he made a mean bubble and squeak.

Dad lost his fight before he could walk Leona down the isle in 1993 and the sorrow of that year was book ended with the joy of Leona and Michael’s engagement and their wedding in September. It was a tremendous day and one that will live long in our memories.

Michael has been our brother ever since, we have eased willingly and with excitement into his company, relished his dark and constant humour, asked ourselves how he is able to get away with the use of profanities in formal settings and sat in wonder of his jokes (even the really long ones) and his ability to hold a note – none of Leona’s immediate family can do this. He has brought so much joy and this is clear when you share moments with Charlie, Lily and Ruairi who have cousins around the globe that are now sharing their pain and tears.

This man was blessed with many gifts . He was a man who told me my Dad would be proud the night before my wedding, having felt my pain that Dad wouldn’t be there. He is a man that made very special leeks that I have failed on so many occasions to reproduce, he is a man that sang ‘five little pennies’ for myself and Mandy on our wedding night and who spent time some years later in the wee hours teaching me the song from Canada so I could sing it (poorly) for my wifes sisters wedding.

Both Michael and Leona have gifted us the best holiday we can recount and memories of that summer will remain alive and clear for the rest of our days – the food, the company, the midges, the beers, a shared midnight skinny dip in cottage country (Dwayne chickened out), wizard, and the many many laughs shared and alive in our hearts.

We have been overwhelmed by the support, kindness and friendship shown to Leona and Michael by their communities, both social and professional. This support doesn’t happen by itself and is a testament to Leona and Michaels efforts to immerse themselves in Canadian life. It is also a testament to all the people who have come forward to support their friend, neighbour and colleague and for this, on behalf of all of Leona’s family we are truly grateful.

With great pain we will celebrate Michaels life this week as we bid him farewell. His wonderful life has been cut far too short – we will all grieve his departure, we will shed tears and if Michael has anything to do with it, we will enjoy some moments of humour.

Michael – you will be desperately missed, you will always be cherished and hold a special place in our thoughts and I can only hope you are entertaining all those who have gone before you.

With our love always, Cathal, Mandy, Chloe and Sophie.

Music for Michael

Each week, the Media Profile staff puts together a blog post with their music picks for the week.

This week their blog post goes out to our dear friend and colleague Michael O’Connor Clarke. They hope this post lifts his spirits and lets him know that we have his back. Here’s to the handsome man with the goatee.

Michael and I have very different tastes in music, and I mean that in the best possible way. I completely respect and understand his music taste and just wish I knew more of what he loves. This one’s for you MOCC, because I know you love it and I respect it.  – @gingershewell

I realize this is a Christmas song but I’m picking it anyway. Fairytale of New York provides a chain reaction of happiness for me, no matter what season I hear it in. That chain goes as follows: Christmas -> Christmas in Ireland -> Irish people -> revelry-loving, hilarious and familiar Irish people I know -> Michael. And there’s no one I’d rather listen to an out-of-season Christmas song with than our Michael. – @anniehennessey

As a boy, I thought punk rock meant spiked Mohawks, leather jackets and a lot of flipping the bird. As a man, I learned that punk rock means being unapologetically you. MOCC taught me that. – @alensadeh

Old-school rock revivalists The Sheepdogs bring you pure unabashed rock music with a great melody and groove. This song sounds so familiar, borrowing bits from CCR and other vintage Southern rock, yet still holds its own in 2012. Goddamn, it’s a good time. Just like working with MOCC. – @mcortellucci

I had a great evening with MOCC earlier this year when we saw someone we both adore completely. Paul Weller has 30 plus years of incredible music to choose from, but this rare B-side particularly thrilled MOCC that evening. Here it is again, this time with Noel Gallagher. – @johnthibodeau

And finally, we have a bonus pick, which is a very special pick to Michael, and frankly, to all of us. Michael speaks often of the ways in which this classic rock band moved him like no music had ever before. He has a very special spot in his bleeding Irish heart for these prolific legends of the stage, so without further ado…

Michael’s Inspiration

Michael’s Inspiration

To brighten up the dull hospital room walls and, most importantly, to keep his focus on the people that matter most, Michael has an inspiration board to help him keep fighting and stay positive throughout his treatment.

Rope-for-Hope

“Dude, you’re on.” Those three words engraved a smile on my face and induced a panic in my heart.

Earlier this year an email circulated around the office from our friends at Make-A-Wish Canada about their most current initiative, Rope-For-Hope. Adrenaline-seeking philanthropists were invited to rappel down the side of Toronto’s City Hall. A follow up email from a colleague that read “Alen will do it” went out which warranted a response of “Hell yeah, I’ll do it.” My dear friend, colleague, and resident Oracle, Michael O’Connor Clarke said he’d do it too. Of course he would. He’s nuts and this is right in his wheelhouse. With the excitement of a pre-pubescent boy I filled out my form but stopped abruptly when I saw how much money I had to raise in order to participate – $1,500 bucks. I had little to no faith that I could raise that much money in such a short period of time. Before I was able to tell Michael I was out, he had already raised half.

That’s the kind of guy Michael is. He’s passionate and he cares about others more than himself. This isn’t the first time he’s given his time, money and effort to help others. As a co-creator of HoHoTO, Michael has raised upwards of $100K for the Daily Bread Food Bank, connected hundreds of people and brought awareness to a cause bigger than himself.

Shortly after raising the money for Rope-For-Hope, Michael was diagnosed with cancer, and asked me to take his place.

The day before I rappelled I thought, this isn’t right; it’s just not the same without him there. He needs to experience this with me. So, I did the next best thing I could think of. I bought a Go-Pro camera, opened up iMovie for the very first time and made Michael a little video of the whole thing.

When he saw the video from his bed in the ICU his eyes lit up and with all his might he blurted out “Fuckin’ awesome”.

No, Michael. You are fucking awesome.

This is just one story about how eager Michael is to help others. Now, Michael needs our help. I know these are tough times but please click on the “donate” button and contribute whatever you can. Every little bit helps a lot.

Alen Sadeh

The Anti-Mentor

Re-posted from Wise Hilda Knits, a delightful blog written by Kate Atherley aka Wise Hilda. She wrote this post about Michael’s wisdom and mentorship, which many of us have benefited from in the past.

Thank you Kate for letting us share your words.

The Anti-Mentor

Totally off-topic:
This story isn’t about me, but it begins with me.

I used to have another career. In an industry I didn’t really fit into. I liked a lot of the work, but I never felt passionate about what I did, and never really felt like I fit in.

About 15 years ago, my paths crossed with Michael O’Connor Clarke. He hired me to do a job for which I had neither the experience nor the qualifications. I’m still not sure how it turned out for him, but it was terrific for me: I got some amazing experience, learned a whole load of new things, and found myself a mentor.

Michael was my mentor for a few years, helping me out as I muddled my way through, trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. And he listened to me and supported me when I went through a difficult time in my personal life.

And then at lunch a few years ago, he delivered his final and best act of mentorship: he told me to go away. We both knew that I was unhappy and hadn’t really found my place in the tech world, but I didn’t have the courage to get out.

He didn’t want to be my mentor anymore because he didn’t want me to be in the position of needing his help. He didn’t want me to be in his industry anymore.

I’m not, and I’m happier and more fulfilled professionally than I ever was in my previous career. And Michael gets credit for helping me make that jump. I’ll forever be grateful to him for that.

It was with shock and sadness that I learned yesterday of his illness. Michael has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, a very aggressive and difficult to treat cancer. I’m still processing this, I’ll be honest. There is a call for support that has been organized by his friends and colleagues.

And old and very dear friend lost his father to brain cancer recently, too. I just don’t know what to say.

Actually, I take that back. I do know what to say: Fuck cancer.

Michael is a Rockstar

This just proves what an absolute rockstar Michael O’Connor Clarke is.

Michael-isms

Michael-isms

If you have had the genuine pleasure of meeting Michael, you have likely been exposed to some of his famous phrases that make us understand the true meaning of LMAO. Gems like “What the ACTUAL f@$&” will forever remind us of Michael’s wit and way with words.

Some other favourites include:

Bollocks!

Grab yer ankles, HoHoTOnians – it’s gonna be a wild ride.

No guarantees until the sheep are in the paddock or whatevahdafuckdametaphoriz.

Let me check my diary.

I will endeavour to ensure my seconds are suitably cleaned, dried and neatly presented, as no one should have to receive seconds that are… sloppy.

The skywriter is booked and I’ve optioned the free lawn space along the side of the Gardiner.

In the back garden…

While we were “hoovering”…

Holy shitballs on toast! Or, its alternate, Outfuckenstanding savoury tea biscuit.

It’s all gone pear-shaped.

Michael’s reply to a request to bring Purell to a meeting when a friend remarked about being under the weather: Purell doesn’t taste good. Stick to hot whiskey.

Michael’s advice to someone making a media appearance: break a leg. Kick ass. Do your thang. You’ll be awesome.

And a favourite: ne’er-do-wells can bite my transparent Irish arse*.

*Full disclosure: Michael’s arse is not actually all that transparent and does not constitute a reasonable window substitute. Some conditions apply. Professional driver, closed course. YMMV. WTGC.

We can’t wait for Michael to be back on his feet wrapped “in 4.5 yards of Shetland wool” (otherwise known as his kilt and sporran number).

Do you have a favourite “Michael-ism”? Please share in the comments below!