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Local fundraising concert raises $7,500 for Brant County SPCA

Arts and EntertainmentLocal fundraising concert raises $7,500 for Brant County SPCA

Over 300 people attended a fundraising concert featuring the Pursuit of Happiness band, in support of the Brant County SPCA at the TownPlace Suites on Friday, November 24, 2023.

Robin Kuchma, Executive Director of the Brant County SPCA, and Cheyanne Richardson, Campaign Director for SPCA, pose for a photo alongside rendered drawings of the new SPCA animal centre, during the fundraising concert on Friday, November 24, 2023.

Phil Gillies, the event’s organizer, kicked off the event by welcoming the audience and thanking them for supporting the cause.

“Apart from having a good time and a great concert, tonight is about raising funds for the new Brant County SPCA animal centre,” said Gillies. “The existing shelter is completely inadequate and there are plans for a big new centre that is five-times the size of the current shelter and what we’re doing tonight, is part of an overall fundraising drive to help make that happen.”

Felicia McMinn sings Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” during the SPCA fundraising event on Friday, November 24, 2023.

Gillies then welcomed opener Felicia McMinn, a Port Dover singer and songwriter, to the stage where she performed a variety of covers such as Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On,” Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling,” and Radiohead’s “Creep” intertwined with several of her original songs such as “Good Enough.”

After McMinn’s set, Gillies approached the microphone for the highly anticipated cheque presentation and thanked the event’s sponsors.

“There are three people without whom this would not be happening tonight,” said Gillies. “Our three big sponsors are MJ Perry and Phil Race, as well as our title sponsor, Ron Johnson, Chair of the Ontario Construction Consortium (OCC).”

Phil Gillies, event organizer, speaks about plans for the new upcoming Brant County SPCA animal centre during his fundraising concert on Friday, November 24, 2023.

Gillies invited Johnson and Charlene Nicholson, SPCA campaign cabinet and board member, to the stage for the presentation and between ticket sales and sponsor support, Gillies and Johnson were able to present Nicholson with a cheque for $7,500.

The event continued as Gillies welcomed the Pursuit of Happiness (TPOH), a JUNO Award nominated and Canadian band, to the stage.

He noted that it was the band’s first time performing in Brantford, despite their song “Gretzky Rocks” having the city’s name in the first three lines.

Moe Berg, lead singer of the Pursuit of Happiness sings “Ten Fingers” during the SPCA fundraising event on Friday, November 24, 2023.

Audience members were quick to gather around the front of the stage to sing and dance along as the band performed hits like “Hard to Laugh,” “Ten Fingers,” and “Shave Your Legs” throughout the night.

Many guests also took the opportunity to chat with SPCA representatives, Robin Kuchma, Executive Director, and Cheyanne Richardson, Campaign Director, to learn more about the future animal centre, as well as to donate additional funds.

Richardson noted that there were plenty more funds to raise, but that she was grateful for Gillies’ continuous support for the cause.

A crowd of people surround the stage as the Pursuit of Happiness performs “Shave Your Legs” during the SPCA fundraising event on Friday, November 24, 2023.

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