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Members of the Dodington Youth Singers'open the sold-out Benefit Concert for Ashlie Drake, held Saturday evening at St. John's United Church in Alliston. The group's Mama Mia Medley was arranged by Mac Huff, with piano accompaniment by Louise Gallaugher. They were followed by five additional acts, including Daniel Panetta, member of the Canadian Tenors, and Naomi Bristow, Beeton-born country music artist and self-taught yodeler.
Photo by Wendy Gabrek
By Wendy Gabrek
A benefit concert for Ashlie Drake was held at St. John's United Church in Alliston and the public responded in droves.
The event featured six local musical artists, and was a sold-out affair, held on behalf of Ashlie Drake and her family.
Ashlie, a 20-year-old, life-long resident of New Tecumseth, is recovering from a serious car accident, that took place on November 16, 2016, on her way home from her Pickering-based college to attend the Alliston Santa Claus Parade with her family – mom Christine, dad Paul, sister Samantha and brother Tyler.
Ashlie lost control of her vehicle after sneezing, hit the soft shoulder and severed her spinal cord eighty per cent of the way through.
The family, who have raised seven generations in their local farm house, have decided to retrofit the premises to help Ashlie come home, after a long stay at Lyndhurst Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Hospital. Renovations will cost approximately $600,000.
Tickets to Saturday's concert sold for $20 each, and donations from sponsors were also accepted.
At press time final numbers on how much was raised at the musical event had not yet been revealed.
“In addition to our sponsors, the committee would like to thank Shoppers Drug Mart Alliston, Tottenham Foodland, Tottenham Bluegrass Festival, Botanix Alliston, Ken Pratt, St. John's United Church – for co-hosting the event,” said Stamper.
If you missed the concert and would still like to help, an account has been setup for the Drake family at the Royal Bank in Beeton, under: The Ashlie Drake Benefit Fund.
A GoFundMe page has also been setup for Ashlie (www.gofundme.com/ashlies-road-to-recovery), with $4,970 of the $7,000 goal (donations from 74 people over five months) having been reached at press time.
“As many of us know, Ashlie Drake was in a severe car accident and suffered severe injuries including a broken neck and spinal cord injuries,” reads a post by Ashlie's GoFundMe account creator, Hope Mortimer. “Ashlie is one of the most genuine people I have ever met and have ever had the honour of playing soccer with, going to school with, knowing and most of all calling a friend in my life time. We all know her to always have the brightest smile in the room, If you have had the pleasure of knowing Ashlie you would agree that she is such a beautiful individual. She has an entire town behind her and needs all the support she can get right now. Please donate what you can to help out her and her family in this time of need, this will be a long road to recovery. We love you Ash, stay positive and stay strong.”
Excerpt: A benefit concert for Ashlie Drake was held at St. John’s United Church in Alliston and the public responded in droves. The event featured six local musical artists, and was a sold-out affair, held on behalf of Ashlie Drake and her family.
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