The Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 605, will be holding a fundraising event on Friday, May 5, 2023 at the Gaukel Memorial Community Centre.
The sold-out event will celebrate the memory of Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, and to recognize those living with brain cancer. All proceeds will be donated to the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada Glioblastoma in support of brain cancer research.
Glioblastoma is the most prevalent high-grade primary brain tumor in adults, and it’s a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor that invades nearby brain tissue.
When Leslie Hendrickson first met Stacy Cornale at the Legion eight months ago, she learned about her husband Mike and his diagnosis with Glioblastoma IDH.
Moved by Mike’s condition, she knew she wanted to throw a fundraising event to help raise the funds for research.
“I left her that night going, Holy cow, like, I want to do an event for this, but I never really talked about it anymore,’ she said.
Later, her friend Fiona Bell expressed her desire to also throw a fundraising event near Hallowe’en, but after the two discussed, they agreed on a spring fundraiser.
“An idea is just an idea until you put it into action, and Fiona and I have been an amazing team together. We bounce ideas off each other, sometimes one of us comes up with something, or the other one comes up with something and we agree or disagree, and we work it out. I would work with her again in a heartbeat on anything.”
The two soon went to the executive members of the St. George Legion and presented the idea.
“They were a little hesitant at first, because it’s a huge event,” she said. “And well, it became bigger than we had planned and it’s the biggest thing that they’ve ever done.”
When the event was announced, they sold 100 tickets and they had a feeling it would be a bigger success than they thought and the two decided to order 600 tickets. Local businesses, as well as those in the surrounding area soon began donating items for the event like a $1000 smoker from Strodes BBQ & Deli.
Hendrickson also approached local jeweler, Savory Goldsmithing, for a special gift made out of one of her own silver necklaces.
Friday’s event will feature Grace 2, a Tragically Hip cover band and will be followed by DJ Sean.
Food will be provided by “Chef D” Darryl Fletcher with five-dollar tacos as a tribute to Cinco de Mayo and one-dollar will be going back to the cause.
A silent auction and a raffle feature several hot items such as a signed Tragically Hip jersey, a signed LP, and a concert poster that has been framed, a five-course dinner and beer pairings with Chef D for four in-home, two season tickets and a jersey for the St. George Ravens, a custom Tragically Hip canoe paddle, a custom Tragically Hip guitar, a “Tour of St. George” gift basket and plenty more.
The event will be put on with the help of seven security guards and 25 to 30 volunteers working the raffle and auction table, working the entrance, bar and more.
While putting on the event Hendrickson and Bell have met others that have been affected by or living with Glioblastoma.
“I’ve been very emotional because we’ve had people that have reached out,” she said. “We have one man from London who’s a brain cancer survivor, and he called me and told me his story, and he’s hoping that he might be able to make it out here. Then I had another man contact me and he’s been living with Glioblastoma for two-and-a-half years, and he bought tickets and also wants to volunteer that night. There’s another couple that are in Paris, and he will be 23 months in I think on May 8. I mean, the people that have it or that are going through this, they’re so willing to share their stories and they want the word out there. We need more awareness and funding and research for this.”