The sound of rock music shook the walls of the Neufeld Garage in Randolph this past Sunday at the fifth annual Rockin’ for a Reason fundraiser.
This year's event saw a grand total of $17,305 raised for Today House and Steinbach Community Outreach. Both local charities say they were blown away by the outpouring of local support.
“I feel ecstatic,” remarks Outreach Drop-in Centre Coordinator Myra Gerbrandt. “I feel like there is so much support from our community. We had a full house, the music was fantastic, the food was great, and we are super, super happy!”
Today House Chair Simone Penner is of a similar mind: “It’s amazing that our community believes in us and know that there’s a need to help. This is beyond what we could have ever hoped for.”
A local band called Crossfire provided the evening’s entertainment with a medley of high energy rock and blues. In between their music sets, presentations were given by Gerbrandt and Today House parent Dave Rushforth.
Before his time with Today House, Rushforth gained much of his experience helping people struggling on the streets of Calgary. He spoke of the importance of providing hope to those in poverty as sometimes they do not have it in themselves. “It’s gratifying to do the work,” he stresses, “but in some cases, it's really sad.”
Gerbrandt spent her time on stage interviewing a guest of Steinbach Community Outreach. Jennifer McCormack maintains that the friendship Outreach offers changed her life: “Without it, I would still be hiding under a rock and I would not speak to anyone. Now I speak to everyone who comes in!”
McCormack now spends her time volunteering with the same organization that helped get her back on her feet.
“She makes me cry,” comments Gerbrandt. “It’s been overwhelming to watch her come in as a shy and scared person and see how she has blossomed over the years... it’s such a cool success story.”
Thanks to sponsors who covered event-costs, all money raised will go towards helping transform the lives of people like McCormack who need that extra push.
According to Penner, all donations will be split evenly between the two organizations who ran the event. She indicates that Today House's portion will be used to cover their ongoing need of general operating funds.
Meanwhile, Gerbrandt hopes to put Outreach's recent funds towards their dream of developing transitional housing in Steinbach.