Sue LeClair

Another year, another record for McGregor Music Festival

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The 29th annual McGregor Music Festival set another fundraising record.

This year’s festival featured eight bands, a pig auction, raffles, a car show and food but organizers also had to contend with rain and cooler than normal weather conditions. While the weather impacted attendance, the festival still raised a record $44,000.

All proceeds have been donated to the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation.

Sue LeClair, chair of the McGregor Music Festival organizing committee, said this year’s total is up by approximately $5,000 over last year.

“It just keeps growing and growing,” she said.

Despite a drop in attendance from roughly 700 people to 500 people but LeClair pointed out the pig auction alone raised $1,700.

“They came with their money,” she said.

Corporate sponsorship was also strong this year, LeClair added.

“We don’t have to beg for money,” she stated.  “Everyone we ask supports us.”

The businesses who sponsor the festival and the bands that come out are all from the Windsor-Essex County area and LeClair indicated that is not going to change. She said proceeds also stay in the area.

“That’s what it’s all about,” she said.

The McGregor Music Festival committee and representatives from the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation celebrate the record $44,000 that was raised at last month’s festival held at Co-An Park.

Proceeds this year will benefit video conferencing and the patient assistance fund. Video conferencing will allow patients and doctors to communicate with each other without having to always meet in person. Doctors can consult with other physicians who may be out of town while patients can still meet with their doctors if they can’t make an appointment.

If people are struggling to pay their mortgage, transportation costs or with other expenses such as utilities, the patient assistance fund can help with those costs.

LeClair said they were worried about not hitting their goals this year due to the inclement weather, but was thrilled that they not only hit, but surpassed it. Giving out the money to the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation is one of the committee’s annual highlights.

“That’s what makes it exciting is hitting our goals,” said LeClair.

Houida Kassem, executive director of the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation, said the festival is a “collaborative effort” between the committee, the bands, the sponsors, the media and all of those who support the festival.

Kassem added the festival is a family-friendly event and estimated it has raised at least $250,000 in its first 29 years. The fact the festival set another fundraising record this year despite poor weather wasn’t lost on Kassem, either.

“That speaks volumes of Sue and her organizing committee,” said Kassem. “Rain or shine, it didn’t matter.”

LeClair said they are going to stay the course for next year’s 30th annual festival, with the date already being set. It will be June 9, 2019 back at Co-An Park in McGregor.

“We’re going to keep it local and raise our goal level,” she said. “We’re going to do the same thing. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The fundraising target for next year’s festival is $50,000, LeClair added.

The committee also paid tribute to Madeline Pheleham, a former co-chair who died recently. LeClair credited Pheleham for getting her involved with the committee and without Pheleham’s involvement, the festival would have gone under a decade ago.

McGregor Music Festival plays on despite weather

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was cooler than normal and wetter than organizers would have preferred.

However, the McGregor Music Festival was presented Sunday afternoon and evening at Co-An Park undaunted.

Crowds were slightly lower and the entrants in the car show that was also held during the festival also saw a decline in participants this year but the organizing committee was still pleased with how the event unfolded. Committee chair Sue LeClair said those who came out “brought their money” and still gave where they could.

“This morning, I didn’t think we were going to get this many,” said LeClair, who stated around 4:30 p.m. they had about 500 people on the grounds at various points during the day.

It was the 29th McGregor Music Festival and proceeds went to the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation.

Jammin’ 4 Wellness performs during the 29th annual McGregor Music Festival, held June 10 at Co-An Park.

“It’s the only event for the Cancer Centre Foundation in Essex County,” LeClair stated. “We want Windsor to have the best equipment at the cancer clinic.”

The event hits even closer to home for the committee, as LeClair noted one of its members is now battling cancer.

“We have a committee member fighting it now and we want her and everyone else to have everything possible at the cancer centre,” she said.

Specific projects this year’s proceeds will go towards will be video conferencing equipment and the patient assistance fund. Houida Kassem, executive director with the foundation, explained that if people are struggling to pay their mortgage, transportation costs or with other expenses such as utilities, the patient assistance fund can help.

“To date, we have helped over 700 people,” she said. “If it wasn’t for people like Sue and her committee of volunteers, that would not happen. It’s like a labour of love for their volunteers.”

The hope is that the festival raises more than the record $39,000 established in 2017, but LeClair had her fingers crossed the weather wouldn’t put a damper on those efforts. To date, she estimated the McGregor Music Festival has surpassed $250,000 in its first 28 years.

The McGregor Music Festival was held Sunday, June 10 at Co-An Park with Ken Koekstat (pictured) and Brand X being one of the bands.

Kassem agreed with LeClair that if a patient is going to be treated in Windsor, they want the best possible equipment for them. She said the festival has grown over the years and it is a testament to the festival’s popularity.

Bands included C2C Entertainment, the All-Star Band, Rio Michaels, Exit 31, Brand X, Jammin 4 Wellness, Lookin’ Back and Bad Moustache. There were a number of raffles and draws as well with the pig auction matching last year’s record of $1,200. A final fundraising total for this year’s festival will not be known until July.

LeClair, who expressed thanks to all of the festival’s sponsors, said even though next year is the 30th annual festival, the committee will likely keep things the same.

“We’re not changing anything,” she said. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

McGregor Music Festival celebrates 28th annual event

By Jolene Perron

 

The drummers held the beat, the guitarists strummed their harmonies and the singers carried on the tunes at the 28th annual McGregor Music Festival.
“The event is an all day event held at Co-An Park every year,” said Susan LeClair, chairperson of the McGregor Music Festival for Cancer. “All the money raised goes to the Cancer Centre Foundation and it stays here in Windsor to buy stuff the foundation requires. This year we’re doing the men’s program and the patient’s assistance fund.”

The music of Exit 31 is enjoyed by those in attendance at the McGregor Music Festival June 11.

The music of Exit 31 is enjoyed by those in attendance at the McGregor Music Festival June 11.

The patient assistance fund was established in 2009 to meet the needs of financially distressed patients who are in the cancer program. It’s confidentially administered by the social work staff in the cancer program’s supportive care department, who counsel and screen the patients.

aisley Koekstat, 9, sang “You are my Sunshine” alongside Exit 31 at the 28th annual McGregor Music Festival Sunday and is recorded doing so.

Paisley Koekstat, 9, sang “You are my Sunshine” alongside Exit 31 at the 28th annual McGregor Music Festival Sunday and is recorded doing so.

Last year, the event raised over $36,000, and the goal this year is to surpass that number.

To help bring in new faces and breathe fresh life into the event, a car show was added to the day. LeClair said the response was fantastic, with 65 gorgeous antique cars out at the event Sunday.

LeClair would like to thank all of the businesses for all of the donations, the numerous entertainers for keeping the crowd dancing all night long, and the committee for all of the hard work they do to put the event on year after year.

McGregor Music Festival continues fight against cancer

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

For the 27th straight year, the McGregor Music Festival allowed people to enjoy music and contribute to the fight against cancer at the same time.

The festival was held from 12 noon until 10 p.m. Sunday at Co-An Park with eight bands, a pig auction, a car show, and raffles helping the organizing committee raise money for the Windsor-Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation.

“We’ve got a good crowd and the weather is terrific,” said organizing committee chair Sue LeClair. “I’m happy with it.”

Approximately 700 people attended Sunday’s festival with the pig auction alone raising a record $1,500. An overall fundraising total is expected to be announced in July.

The band “Jammn’ 4 Wellness” performs during the McGregor Music Festival, held at Co-An Park  last Sunday. Roughly 700 people attended.

The band “Jammn’ 4 Wellness” performs during the McGregor Music Festival, held at Co-An Park last Sunday. Roughly 700 people attended.

Bands included C2C Entertainment and Friends, Jammin’ 4 Wellness, Bad Moustache, the Rio Michael’s Band, Brand X Live Band, Lookin’ Back, the Daniel Rush Band, and Exit 31. LeClair said they are thankful for the bands for showing their support for the festival.

“The bands are what everyone comes out to hear,” she said.

LeClair thanked area businesses for stepping up with donations as they assisted in making the festival a success. She also thanked the public for coming out as well.

“We have to thank the crowd for coming and supporting us,” she said. “I would say every town in Essex County is represented here.”

This year’s proceeds go towards the Windsor Cancer Centre’s patient assistance fund and the “This One’s for the Girls” women’s health initiative. Last year’s total was $26,700 and LeClair said they want to top that this year.

“I want $30,000,” said LeClair.

David Law was one of many who danced the afternoon and evening away at the June 12 McGregor Music Festival at Co-An Park.

David Law was one of many who danced the afternoon and evening away at the June 12 McGregor Music Festival at Co-An Park.

Many people in Amherstburg and the surrounding area have been touched in one way, shape or form by cancer and LeClair said the festival continues because they want people to get the best treatment possible locally.

“We care about the cancer centre and we want to make sure they have the top equipment possible for the people here in Windsor-Essex County and Chatham-Kent,” she said. “We want to keep our cancer centre top notch.”

LeClair said the McGregor Music Festival is the only fundraiser in the county for the Windsor-Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation. She said the committee knows what they are doing but still starts as early as February preparing the festival.

McGregor Music Festival returns this Sunday

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

An opportunity to listen to good local music and contribute to the fight against cancer comes to Co-An Park this Sunday.

The 27th annual McGregor Music Festival takes place with proceeds going to the Windsor-Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation. The day-long event not only features music, but there will be raffles, a pig auction, a car show, food and a cash bar.

The entertainment starts at noon with C2C Entertainment and Friends with other bands scheduled to start every hour. Jammin’ 4 Wellness, Bad Moustache, the Rio Michael’s Band, Brand X Live Band, Lookin’ Back and the Daniel Rush Band. The final band of the day, Exit 31, is scheduled to take to the stage starting at 8 p.m.

27thAnnualMcGregorMusicFestival_web

Sue LeClair, chair of the McGregor Music Festival organizing committee, said the proceeds from this year’s festival will go towards programs at the cancer centre. The Patient Assistance Fund is one of the them with that program being established in 2009. It has provided over $400,000 to over 450 patients since its inception with the aim of the fund being to provide “short-term financial aid to eligible patients for a variety of basic home  and treatment related expenses.” The Patient Assistance Fund is administered confidentially by the supportive care department and is designed to lift the burden of financial strain so that patients can focus on their treatments and on improving their health.

LeClair added that the second program the festival’s proceeds will be going to “This One’s For the Girls” campaign. “This One’s for the Girls” is a fundraising campaign, created by the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation, in support of cancer awareness, research and treatment for local women. Money being raised will be used to either purchase equipment, assist with treatment or anything that is necessary for patients being treated at the Cancer Centre.

Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12.

For further information, call 519-253-3191 ext. 58559#.