Nelson's arts community came together at the Capitol Theatre late last month to raise money for Pat Henman

Fundraiser in Nelson a curtain raising success

Over $20,000 was raised in one spectacular night organized by friends for friends in serious need.

Over $20,000 was raised in one spectacular night organized by friends for friends in serious need.

Friends of Pat Henman and Maia Vezina are thrilled at the success of the fundraiser they organized in support of the pair who is still recouping at Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre after a head-on collision critically injured the mother and daughter in June.

Between seat sales, a silent auction and donations, $22,000 to $23,000 was generated. The silent auction was so big that it spilled out onto the street.

“What an incredible amount and it certainly surpassed our expectations,” said Karen Agnew, one of the organizers. “Nelson’s generosity and love for two of its own was indeed so very evident the entire evening long.”

Called Raising the Curtain for Pat and Maia, the fundraiser was held at the Capitol Theatre on July 31. Nelson’s arts community came together to raise money for the family as a long recovery is ongoing at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.

The lineup of entertainment included Allison Girvan, Bessy Wapp, Lucas Myers, Shenango, Hiro Ido, Michael Graham, Jenny Craig and many more.

“The show was just terrific with such talented performers that sang, danced and made us laugh all the way through,” said Agnew. “That evening was the first time all the performers had gathered together along with our producer, director, stage manager and technical crew. Talk about flying by the seat of our pants. Kudos to all for a beautiful show.”

Agnew described a highlight of the evening where Larry Vezina, Pat’s husband, took to the stage along with their son and daughter Liam and Zoe. The whole family expressed their gratitude for all the prayers and love that have continued to be sent since the accident. “It’s working” he said.

“He then shared some very heartfelt moments with us about the accident and Pat and Maia’s survival,” said Agnew. “He told us about the long road to recovery both will face and how very proud he is of their strength and determination. Unbelievably, he told us a few stories that assure us that they still have their sense of humour against all odds. It was a beautiful thing to hear.”

And a beautiful message went back to the hospital as well. At the beginning of the show, the entire audience stood up and shouted “Hi Pat and Maia!” as a photo was taken and sent right away. The event was also recorded for Henman and Vezina to watch in the hospital. Dressed up in costumes, attendees could also send funny pictures and video messages.

“There were many happy tears and smiles and gratitude when these were received by Pat and Maia,” said Agnew.

Both Henman and Vezina continue to improve daily with a few inevitable set backs here and there, relayed Agnew.

“Even though both will have to be hospitalized for some time to come we can be assured that through the exceptional care and love they are being given and thier own tremendous dtermination and strength they will be coming home to Nelson,” she said.

A fundraiser was also held at Spiritbar on July 26 with DJs Phat Diablo, Breakfluid and Rippel joining forces. The event raised $900 for the mother and daughter.