Commen-Terry: Community to rally with Helping Hands Thursday

The finishing touches in preparation for the Helping Hands Benefit Concert are now being applied.

This event has taken on a life of its own, since Doug Cox from Vancouver Island MusicFest and I conceptualized it.

A quick history lesson, for those still unfamiliar with the reason for the Helping Hands Benefit Concert.

On Jan. 11, a Town of Comox water main burst on Jan. 11, flooding the entire first floor of the Mariner Apartment.

One day later, the Mariner Apartment landlord invoked a “frustrated tenancy” clause, effectively ending all tenancies and evicting the residents of 17 first-floor units. Through no fault of their own, the tenants of the low-income rental property were suddenly homeless, left to their own devices to find lodging in one of the hardest communities in Canada to find rental accommodations.

On Thursday, we will collectively “pay it forward” to dozens of our fellow residents who need our help.

The performers’ lineup has been finalized, and is as follows:

6-6:30 – Katrina & Farley Mifsud

6:40 – 7:10 – Susie MacGregor and Friends

7:20 -7:50 – Coast to Coast

8-8:30 – Ashley Sykes, Andrea Rose & Alannah Clark

8:40 – 9:10 – The Mulligans

9:20 – 9:50 – Sue Medley

10-10:30 – Rebel Heart

And we have Sound Advice to thank for the equipment, as they are supplying the PA system for the evening.

Quality Foods and Costco have stepped up to supply the concession items, so there will be sandwiches and beverages available to purchase.

The silent auction list is phenomenal. So many unsolicited contributions – it is a testament to the giving nature of the Comox Valley.

In the past week, I’ve had Tracey McInnis, from Bubbles and Blinds, donate a $500 gift certificate towards custom window coverings at the store.

Kevin Wilson, owner of Jiffy Lube, dropped off a pair of lower bowl tickets for a Vancouver Canucks game. And you don’t have to worry about where to stay: Parq Vancouver has that covered.

Parq Vancouver has committed to one night in a King Guest Room at the JW Marriott or DOUGLAS Hotels on Feb. 25, $200 dining credit at one of Parq’s five restaurants and even $100 worth of free play in the casino.

Lyle Carlstron of Old House Law has donated a $300 estate planning certificate.

And Ashley Sykes, Andrea Rose & Alannah Clark, who are playing at the benefit, have also put up a two-set house concert as a silent auction item.

Other items include an Easy Street house concert (thanks, Dave Devindisch and Annie Handley), a whale watching trip for two, courtesy of Aboriginal Journeys, tickets to A Night of Bowie, and an incredible Beatles vinyl anthology, valued at $600, and donated anonymously.

Comox Recreation has stepped up with more than $750 in fitness passes and memberships.

Comox Fireplace and Patio has dropped off a Dimplex Electric Stove.

Comox Fire Rescue has donated a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit, as well as a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.

Dermessentials Medispa has put together a $250 product package. Beaufort Family Dental has donated a Sonicare For Kids electric toothbrush.

I-Hos Gallery has donated a spectacular gift basket, and Nancy Clarke, Alvin Gossen and the Crown Isle Starbucks have put together another.

Other individuals who have dropped off items include local photographer Claude Dalley, who has donated four framed prints, artists Tracey Kobus, Laura Jayne Furness and Toni Frank, who has donated two pairs of incredible handcrafted earrings.

Colin Parker has dropped off three amazing hard-cover, gold leaf anthology books; the complete works of Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

Piqued your interest yet?

There’s more! Deduza Bed & Bath has donated two gift bags, while Blackfin Pub, Church Street Bakery and Church Street Tap House have all donated gift cards to the silent auction.

The only thing missing now is your attendance at the event. It all takes place Thursday at the Native Sons Hall, starting at 6 p.m. Admission to the Feb. 7 event is by donation. The success of this initiative is contingent on a good turnout Thursday night. And if you can’t make it out to the event, there’s a trust fund already set up at the Coastal Community Credit Union. The Mariner Apartment Flood Victims’ Trust (#799490) is operational and accepting donations.

I look forward to writing a recap column, detailing success beyond my most optimistic expectations.

Terry Farrell is the editor at the Comox Valley Record.

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