Rotary teams with entertainers to fight Polio

 

By Joel Charron

 

The Verdi Club was stuck in a time warp Friday evening as the Amherstburg Rotary Club and the Shoreline Entertainers presented “the Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

 

Roughly 270 people attended the show on Friday and Saturday night.

 

Along with the show, the Rotary Club was also raising awareness and selling ribbons as part of Rotary’s worldwide mission to eradicate polio.

 

“The Shoreline Entertainers will put on an annual show, the Rotary Club helped fund the production,” said Rotary Club president Lena Lazanja. “They really do most of the work. We’re just here to help support them and raise awareness about polio.”

 

 

Amherstburg's Delanie Brown sang two favourites: In The Still Of The Night the big hit from 1956's The Five Satins and Stupid Cupid by the great Connie Francis.

In addition to ribbon sales, Lazanja said there was also a 50/50 draw to fund the fight to wipe out polio, something that is close to happening.

 

“Sixty cent is one vaccine for a child,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing to think that we are so close to having polio eradicated.”

 

Lazanja noted that Monday was World Polio Day and that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are matching Rotary International’s efforts to eliminate the disease.

 

The show was directed by Mary Sue Johnson, with Chris Borshuk as the musical director. According to Johnson roughly 55 performers, mostly volunteers from the community came together to put together the show.

 

It took roughly one year of rehearsing went into the production of the show.

 

“We’re just a group of people that love to entertain,” said Johnson. “We love being out there entertaining, we don’t get paid for this.”

 

Johnson said she hopes the residents of Amherstburg understand how important it is to have a variety show throughout the year.

 

“I know it’s something people think that it’s in the past,” she explained. “This is just a very pleasant night and it would be a shame for it to go under.”

 

Johnson said her uncle, Floyd Zimmerman, used to put on variety shows locally many years ago and she said the Shoreline Entertainers hope to keep showcasing area talent.

 

“We have some very talented people in this town,” said Johnson.

 

Carol Liberty, who has been a volunteer performer for nearly six years, said she performs for people because it’s a passion.

 

“I love doing this. I love the music, I love getting up in front of people and seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces,” said. Liberty.

 

The two night show raised enough money to help vaccinate over 400 children.

 

“This is definitely a good thing,” said Lazanja. “Thanks to the generous citizens of Amherstburg.”

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