NOTRE-DAME-DE-GRÂCE – They say tragedy brings out the best in people. That couldn’t have been more clear Sunday at the Crowley Arts Center where a fundraising concert was held to benefit the victims of last month’s Verdun fire that left 50 people homeless.
“Eleven apartments were lost,” said Verdun city councilor Marie-Eve Brunet, who attended the event. “In that, there are only two groups who had insurance. The others need to rebuild everything, and have lost everything.”
The grief that struck these families on Christmas Day touched the hearts of many, including band promoter Cyndi Turner who felt compelled to help however she could.
“I’m originally from Verdun so I’m a Verdun girl at heart,” said Turner. “And Verdun people just stick together.”
She reached out to a number of local bands, who agreed to play sets throughout the afternoon, free of charge.
“We all know somebody who’s been affected by something tragic like that,” said Tamara Clark of the Hudson-based band Happenstance. “At the end of the day, we are all a community and we should all be helping each other out.”
Between two and ten p.m., a complete line-up of local musicians took to the stage to entertain the crowd. A $10 admission fee allowed access to the event. The day had something for everyone, including a couple of superheroes for the younger attendees.
“Everybody is doing everything on a voluntary basis, the bands included,” said Turner. “Nobody is making any money. All the money is going to the fire victims.”
“When you lose your job, when you lose your possessions, when you lose your soul, your heart, you turn to your family and friends,” said musician Andy Blindcoe of The Last of the Duke Street Kings band. “But when you lose your home, you’ve got to turn to your community. That’s the time when the people around you should rise up and make something a common goal.”
The common goal of this event was raising enough money to help get 50 Verdun residents back on their feet.