Guest Post: CharityBuzz Celebrity Auctions. Dream Makers or Just Another Business Transaction?
Welcome back to my Duch friend Ester. She's returned, using her power of the pen, to talk about what happens when your life-long dream to meet Lenny Kravitz becomes a business transaction (and a bad one at that). Take it away Birthday Girl...
I Need A Love That Takes Me Higher. So High I'm Never Coming Down
by Ester Bos
My friend from Twitter won an online auction. The prize? Meet Lenny Kravitz backstage in Italy. She invited me to come along and asked for nothing in return. The auction was held by CharityBuzz. Don't be fooled by their well-chosen name. Even though they raise money for charities, Charitybuzz is not a charity. It is a company that makes money by holding online auctions for meeting your favorite celebrity. Their motto: "Do good. Live well".
My friend paid almost 3,000 dollars because she wanted to meet Lenny Kravitz. Part of her money went to Charitybuzz, and since they claim to raise money for charity, the other part of her money went to the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation for Justice and Human Rights. The founder and director of that foundation is Kerry Kennedy. She's also on the advisory board of Charitybuzz. Now you tell me, is there a conflict of interest?
Lenny Kravitz. The creator of the soundtrack of my soul. It was my lifelong dream to meet him. And just a business transaction to Charitybuzz. As long as we did get to meet him and were able to see part of his concert, everything went well according to them.
I don't think Lenny Kravitz knew how much money my friend had paid to see him. Of course no one can be bought. But maybe people shouldn't be put up for auction either. I know now that he just did what he always does: shake hands, photo, goodbye. I think Charitybuzz should have made that clear before people started bidding sky high and traveling half the world.
I know lots of people are thrilled to have their picture taken with Lenny Kravitz. But we all have our own truth. My truth is that I hold him so high that I don't want to take anything from him. So I was sad. And not because I had so little time with him. I felt sad because his meet and greets are planned in such a way I felt I couldn't even treat him as the human being that is. All shutdown. Yet, he seems so open in his music.
I do think I had a split second connection with Lenny. But this only happened because I broke the rules of his meet and greet. I imagine he has his reasons to keep people at a distance. What a difficult life that must be. Having to deal with such hollow interactions. I wonder why he makes the effort to meet his fans if this is the only way to do it. It would make me feel so lonely. I pray he has a different perspective and just feels loved. For he is.
When I wrote my blog on the meet and greet, people took note.
Lenny's mind blowing multi-talented Art Director unfollowed me on twitter. He has been such an inspiration to pursue my dreams. I miss the little chats we sometimes had. I miss him.
And Charitybuzz claims we won't get the photo that was taken at the meet and greet. They say Lenny's management decided not to release it because of the "negative blog" I wrote. I have no need for that photo. I don't care about photo's or trophies. I care about people. I feel devastated I was not able to make that clear.
Does Lenny Kravitz know about this, does he approve? This man, who struck lightning through my soul when he wrote songs like Believe and Dream.
I don't regret writing that first blogpost. I do regret going to the meet and greet: I wish I had found another way to thank Lenny for his positive impact on me. And it would have been best if I had just let him be.
I feel very sorry that my generous friend won't get her photo because of this. I don't know how to mend it. Charitybuzz hasn't done a thing to help her. Even though my friend had nothing to do with my blogpost, they feel she is treated correctly. Charitybuzz says they never promised her a photo in the first place. Isn't that funny?
Oh well, what was to be expected from a company that sent my friend to another continent for a meet and greet without a ticket or other formal proof? We had so much trouble getting into the venue because of that. Of course she complained about all that went wrong. But up till now my friend has gotten nothing from Charitybuzz but a very thoughtful 'too bad'. And of course they promised to change their small print.
Now what? Do good and live well.
For who ever that feels I need to be corrected: I'm sorry if I offended you. When I was at the meet and greet, I saw hard working people. And I know you did the best you could with the best intentions. You have been doing such a fantastic job in letting Lenny shine. Please don't stop now.
It took me a long time to decide whether I should write this. The last thing I want is that Lenny gets stained. Not even if it was Lenny himself who decided that I need to be rectified. For his message means the world to me. In the end I think I should continue to stand up for that message. So here it goes:
Let Love Rule ❤