by Barbara Roden
Some 70 people filled St. Alban’s church hall in Ashcroft on Friday, May 29 to hear former Ashcroft resident Leslie Alexander in concert.
The event, sponsored by the Winding Rivers Arts and Performance Society, had been scheduled for some weeks, but after the floods in Cache Creek on May 23 Alexander contacted WRAPS and asked that her fee be donated to a relief fund for the Village.
WRAPS directors agreed to add to that all monies earned at the “by donation” concert. The congregation of St. Alban’s Church waived the hall rental fee; a generous anonymous donor covered all other costs associated with the event; Safety Mart provided free ice cream to supplement the donated baked goods supplied for intermission; and Alexander contributed all proceeds from the sales of her CDs at the event.
The result was more than $2,000 raised for disaster relief, as area residents amply demonstrated their generosity and goodwill, and more than one person who could not be present sent donations.
Now living in High River, Alberta, Alexander punctuated her excellent, high-energy sets with recollections of the 2013 flood which saw all 13,000 residents of High River evacuated, and drew comparisons with what she’s seen happening in Cache Creek over the last few days.
“People helped everyone,” she said. “Strangers came and helped clear and repair damaged properties. We got a lot out of it, and we remember what others did for us.”
Alexander said this was the first concert she’d performed since the 2013 floods. At that time she didn’t know if she’d ever sing in public again; but she was inspired by the event to write several new songs, some of which she played in public for the first time at last Friday’s concert. One of them, “High River Storm”, spoke of “Families and friends, neighbours and strangers / Reaching out a helping hand” and how “The power of the people is making this a stronger place”, words Alexander said also applied to “our friends in Cache Creek”.
WRAPS is donating the $2,200 generated by the concert to the Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way Cache Creek Flood Relief fund, which will match all donations up to $10,000 dollar-to-dollar. To contribute to the fund, go to http://www.unitedwaytnc.ca/cachecreek/