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  • Alison Wilson

Journey with James Michael Pub Night Fundraiser

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

Just over a week ago on June 1st, we had our first local fundraiser - Journey with James Michael Pub Night Fundraiser at Fionn MacCool's in Ajax. It was a blast! A lot of planning went into the evening with our hard working committee. We couldn't have done it without them (Jim and Donna Wilson, James and Heather Ann Penner, Pam Ronson and Kevin May, Mike and Darlene Costas and Pete Sellenkowitsch). All of these people brought their unique skillsets, expertise and time to the table and we couldn't have been happier with the result on June 1st!

Here are some details of the evening:

- Each guest received a bracelet with the initials JWJM on it which stands for Journey with James Michael when they arrived to Fionn's. Pam Ronson and Kevin May sourced out where to get the custom made guitar picks, Caleb Petke drilled holes in the picks and Donna Wilson got the black string to make the bracelet. A real team effort! The bracelets, we hope, will be a reminder for each guest that they're partnering with us in this journey with James (and Mike and I). Caleb also made an amazing sign - #journeywithjamesmichael that we hung above the band to draw attention to the amazing community that has rallied beside us to cheer on James and our family.

- We put together a band that we called "The Journey with James Michael Band" ! It was an honour to play and sing with such talented musicians from our friends and family`! We played a great mix of genres (Country, Rock and Motown) to keep the energy for the evening going strong. It was extra special to have a 3 piece horn section join us. We're so thankful for all of their musical talent, their friendships and their part in making the evening really fun.

A Huge thank to our all star band!

Tim Wadsworth - vocals, acoustic guitar; Jeff Knight - vocals, bass; Mike Wilson - vocals, electric guitar; Liz Clark - vocals, Alison Wilson - vocals; Jeff Teed - keyboard; Ryan Jerome - drums; Jordan Wilson - percussion; Ken Janes - trumpet; Brandon McMackin - trumpet; Marcus Baskie - saxophone; Kevin May and Pete Sellenkowitsch - sound engineering

- Signature drinks - there were 2 specialized drinks of the evening - $1 of each drink was donated to James. They were called "the James Michael Mule" and "CP Warrior"

Jamie Holbrook enjoyed the signature drinks :)

- Custom-made Key chains/Magnets - these were made by Donna's coworker, Sharon. I have one on my key chain now! They also have a magnet on the back to put it on your fridge instead.

- Amazing Raffle and Silent Auction Items - we sure didn't have a short supply of items for our raffle and silent auction. There was lots of variety - original artwork by a variety of artists, Raptors tickets, sports jerseys, coffee table, gas BBQ, photography session, VIA rail tickets - the list goes on! A major thank you to all who donated items! We truly felt blessed by our community through all of these gifts. A special thank you to James Ruddle who also performed a live painting for the evening.

- The night was MC'd by our friend, Pam Ronson - and she did a great job of getting 200+ people's attention, giving the much needed direction and announcements throughout the evening and doing it all with an entertaining playfulness. She interviewed Mike and I and gave us the opportunity to tell a little more about our journey, both the present and the future. She also took the time to give a prayer of blessing over us which was so special.

- DJ music by Graydon Ronson got everyone in the pub dancing! He did a great job of continuing the fun atmosphere.

All in all, we exceeded our expectations for the evening. Our grand total of funds raised on June 1st was $37, 012! What a huge success! It certainly does take a village to raise a child and our village showed up with generosity and support of James Michael in a big way. Thank you so much everyone for your incredible support!

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