Sheen's shenanigans ripple through Oakville, Canada

  • April 5, 2011

OAKVILLE, ON, April 5, 2011 - Talk about the ripple effect. On the one hand, there's a real estate board in Ontario raising funds for the local Habitat for Humanity. On the other hand, there's Charlie Sheen.

Sheen, former star of CBS's Two and a Half Men, is more that 3000 km (almost 2,200 mi) from Oakville, Ontario , a bedroom community near Toronto. But his impact on the 1,400-member Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board (OMDREB) has been significant.

Here's the story. Each year, the OMDREB President supports a charity and members donate time, talent and money to the cause. In 2010, Board President Jeff Mahannah opted to support the local affiliate of Habitat® for Humanity, its affordable housing mandate being perfect for the not-for-profit organization that represents local housing experts. Over the course of the year, OMDREB members donated significantly toward Habitat's two local 'builds'. Then last year, to conclude his term as President, Mahannah presided over a gala auction fundraiser for Habitat Halton.

Enter Charlie Sheen. Whom everyone loved. Even here in Oakville.

Through connections, an OMDREB member obtained an invitation to a live taping of Two and a Half Men in Burbank, Calif. It was the headliner of an already exciting auction and the buzz it created was enormous. Three generous guests donated more than $13,000 each for the privilege of seeing Charlie and his mates live, and overall the event raised more than $65,000 for Habitat for Humanity. It was a record and everyone was thrilled. But before OMDREB could send their guests on the trip, Sheen had his famous meltdown and the rest was history.

Now OMDREB is caught up in the meltdown ripple. Obviously it wants to honor its commitments, both to the donors and to Habitat. It's looking at options and hoping for a bit of a miracle. In the meantime, it's interesting how one meltdown thousands of miles away can impact the lives of under-housed families in another country.

Says Mahannah: "The generosity of our Gala guests was overwhelming and we greatly exceeded our goals for the year, but we never anticipated that something happening so far away would impact our ability to make our donation to Habitat® for Humanity Halton."

Adds Anne Swarbrick, Executive Director of Habitat® for Humanity Halton: "The Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board has been very supportive of Habitat's work in the community and we appreciate the concern this situation has caused them."