Muskoka To-DAILY

‘Bring Gary Home’ benefit raises $20,000 for Gary Froude at concert, silent auction

MINNET –  Gary wasn’t able to be there in person – he tried via Skype but pneumonia prevented it – but more than 300 people were are the Marriott hotel here last weekend to hear a benefit concert by Ian Thomas and Marc Jordan that raised $20,000 for the Bring Gary Home campaign.

Ian Thomas performed the first set and was joined by Marc Jordan after.

Ian Thomas performed the first set and was joined by Marc Jordan after.

His partner Gayle Dempsey was overwhelmed by the support.

“I know Gary joins me in thanking you and we offer our tremendous gratitude and love to  all of you in and our incredible community. Thank you all so very, very much and bless each and every one of you. “

Froude came down with a mysterious and debilitating virus last June and his family and friends are fundraising to bring him home to recouperate.

He is in hospital at Barrie, after being initially treated in Toronto.

Froude has been a champion of the arts in Muskoka for decades, and along with Dempsey has spearheaded the revival of the Muskoka Chautauqua movement.

The mystery viral infection attacked his nervous system, leaves him paralyzed.  Froude has been in intensive care since and is facing a long and expensive journey back to health.

An account has been established, and the proceeds of the Benefit Concert will be added to funds already donated by community members to assist this deserving couple who have selflessly helped so many and generously contributed so much to the Muskoka community.

The purpose of these fundraising activities is to help Froude recover, and move him towards an improved quality of life with more independence.  The level of support Froude will require after leaving hospital has yet to be determined: it may include convalescent care such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, the acquisition of specialty equipment and dealing with accessibility issues at home.

MP Tony Clement, a pretty fair guitar player himself, did a couple of numbers for his old friend.

MP Tony Clement, a pretty fair guitar player himself, did a couple of numbers for his old friend.

Froude and Dempsey share a common passion for community service and bringing people together. They launched the Muskoka Lakes Music Festival in 1995 which has evolved to become Muskoka Chautauqua. Froude and Dempsey are active members of the Rotary Club of Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes and have been the driving force in bringing to Muskoka events that include the Kaleidoscope Children’s Festival, many exciting musical performances, First Nations festivals, food and wine events, literary gatherings and art exhibitions. Froude’s long-time career as a music promoter earned him countless lifetime friendships with accomplished rock musicians, celebrities and impresarios all over North America.

Thomas, a Juno award-winning song writer, recording artist, actor and long-time Canadian rocker. He was joined on stage by another Canadian music great  Marc Jordan, of “Livin’ in Marina Del Rey” fame. Thomas and Jordan are both members of the band Lunch at Allen’s, along with Murray McLauchlan and Cindy Church.

Prior to the concert, a silent auction and coffee house featured prominent local artists and musicians that include Mike Phillips, Caroline Butson; Tony Clement, Leah Leslie, Beverlie Robertson, Po’ Cholly and Often Running. Regional business leaders also contributed their energy and resources to the event as corporate sponsors. The RotaryClubBracebridgeMuskokaLakes contributed their considerable talent to help coordinate the evening.

Proceeds from the concert and auction go to help BringGaryHome fundraising drive.

To help Gary, call Jordan Mulligan, marketing manager at Muskoka Tourism, 1-800-267-9700 ext 200


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Posted by on Jan 11 2014. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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