When local musician Jamie Clarke’s father died from cancer in 2016, Clarke knew he had to do something to help keep Hospice Huntsville going.
“We kept him at home as long as we could but when it got too difficult we turned to Hospice,” said Clarke. “They afforded us the time we needed to just sit and enjoy his final days the best we could.”
Hospice Huntsville, a local organization that provides care and support to individuals who are facing end-of-life situations, relies on donations of over half-a-million dollars each year in order to keep their doors open.
“Sadly, the likelihood of any one of us losing someone we care about in our lifetime is absolute and it is most likely one of the most difficult hurdles each one of us will have to face,” said Clarke. “Hospice is one of the few things that will help ease that time and they need our help in order to do it.”
In 2016, he launched the Rock and Roll Black Tie Affair and in its first two years the event raised a total of more than $40,000.
“I really had no expectations (for how well the event would be supported). It was more something to do at a time when I didn’t want to be idle,” said Clarke. “In one sense I think if you do something with a pure heart and no expectations then you can’t help but succeed. On the other hand, it feels great to be embraced with such enthusiasm by the community.”
The event features musicians, comedians, and a silent auction, as well as appetizers donated by Bullock’s Independent Grocer and desserts from Whimsical Bakery.
Silent auction items this year will include beer packages, a ceiling fan from Muskoka Lighting, Toronto Maple Leaf tickets from RMS Financial, golf packages from Deerhurst, Grandview and Pinestone, lunch for two on Parliament Hill with MP Tony Clement, massages, gift certificates and more.
Singer/songwriter Rekha Patel and comedian Ryan Horwood are returning to perform and will be joined by new additions singer/songwriter Skye Wallace and Niagara band Undercover. Ace of Wands, a three-piece band out of Toronto that is led by classical violin, are opening up the show.
Ron Hawkins, lead singer of The Lowest of the Low and the Do Good Assassins, is also returning for a third year to play as is, of course, Jamie Clarke’s band Myrle.
“Each spring, Ron messages me first to say, ‘Hey, I don’t want to book any shows in October until you finalize the Black Tie.’ He’s amazingly committed and he’s out there playing huge shows fronting his bands so it always means a ton to us,” said Clarke.
The recording of last year’s Black Tie event will be available for purchase on the night of this year’s show with 100 per cent of profits being donated directly to Hospice Huntsville. If you don’t have a chance to buy it then, copies will also available at Cripple Creek Music.
The third annual Rock and Roll Black Tie Affair in support of Hospice Huntsville will take place on Saturday, October 20 at the Algonquin Theatre. Tickets are available at the Algonquin Theatre box office or online here.
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