Canadian Musician and Actor Tom Jackson took the stage at the Niverville Heritage Centre’s annual fundraiser gala Saturday evening.

“If you want to see a better country, see your country better,” says Jackson, challenging his 300 person audience to see the good in those around them and be a light in their community.

From Mayor Myron Dyck’s initial address, where he referred to the Centre as a welcoming beacon that offers safety and opportunity, to the ceremonial lighting of candles on each individual table that symbolized every person’s unique influence, this theme of light was central to the event.

In a presentation interspersed with his characteristic earthy folk, Jackson calls the Heritage Centre a gift to Niverville, claiming the caring for one’s elders is one of the most important parts of being community-minded.

Steven Neufeld makes an appeal for fundsSteven Neufeld, the Heritage Centre’s Chief Officer For Community and Development, comments on Jackson’s performance: “He got a standing ovation at the end. I think this is the first time, in the 12 galas we’ve done, that someone has received that, and it’s because of how inspiring he was in challenging people to share their love with others.”

Neufeld says he agrees with Jackson on the importance of senior care and notes the goal of this year’s fundraiser is to provide them with increasing support while maintaining low rates for those in assisted living and supportive housing.

As donations continue to roll in for the remainder of the week, Neufeld says he is hoping to receive roughly $50,000 which will go towards purchasing small-scale items like air mattresses and wound imaging cameras to further improve the life and care of their residents.

Neufeld thanks the people who came out to give their support and offers high praise to the many employees and volunteers who work tirelessly to help the Heritage Centre function as smoothly as it does.