Rock-a-thon to benefit Chatham-based charity that helps Haiti families – Chatham This Week

A dozen local bands are joining forces to raise funds for the Chatham-based Rise House International charity that helps women and children in Haiti have a better life.

Members of the band Walkin’47 helped organize – and will headline – the Rise House Rock-a-Thon at Sons of Kent Brewing Co. in Chatham from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 30.

Dr. Jason Denys said he and band member Scott Aarssen got together with John Lyons and Chatham Coun. Brock McGregor to talk about organizing an event.

“In typical Chatham-Kent fashion, the next thing we knew we had 12 bands in total,” Denys said.

He added all of the bands were more than happy to chip in and play a set.

Denys said Chatham’s Emily Hime has been doing charitable work in Haiti since 2011, providing shelter for women and children, along with education and training.

But with the “devastating” situation in Haiti, including the assassination of the country’s prime minister last July, along with rampant gang violence, the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread poverty, Denys said it hasn’t been safe for the team to travel there.

“It’s been hit on multiple fronts, so when thinking about a charity that one came front of mind right away because they’re struggling so much and there’s so much work to be done,” he said.

Denys also likes the fact it’s not an administration-heavy organization, “so the fund are going to the people who really need it.”

Since bands will be playing continuously for 12 hours, Denys said admission is by donation so people will feel free to come and go as they please.

There will be a main stage and acoustic stage with a wide range of music, including pop, country and rock ‘n’ roll from the ’60s and ’70s

“We’ve got it all,” Denys said.

Bands performing on the main stage include North Shore Folk (noon), Trifeckta (2 p.m.), Big Shiny Toons (4 p.m.), Dirt Country (6 p.m.), DTX (8 p.m.) and Walkin’47 (10 p.m.).

The acoustic stage will feature Cole Pereria (11 a.m.), Glenn Smith (1 p.m.), Just Us (3 p.m.) Southwind Buoys (5 p.m.), Cellar Door (7 p.m.) and Acoustic FM (9 p.m.)

An added bonus, said Denys, is a special Rise House beer being brewed by Sons of Kent partner Colin Chrysler for the fundraiser.

“I can’t wait to try it,” Denys said.

There will also be some items up for auction, including a guitar signed by Kid Rock donated by a member of the community.

Since the pandemic is still active, the event will also be livestreamed on the Rise House International Facebook page. More details on the charity or fundraiser are available at www.risehouse.ca.

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