Keep the Beat sets a record

A huge anonymous donation changed everything.

From left: Hannah Abbey

It was the anonymous donation that did it.

Just before this year’s 11th annual Keep the Beat ten-hour music concert and silent auction at Lakeside Park, someone the teenage organizers don’t know who pledged a donation of $8,500.

Not only that, but the donor would give another $7,500 if the group’s fundraising this year matched the $8,500.

And it did: they raised $9,000. So with that plus the two pledges from the donor, this year’s total is $25,000, all to be donated to War Child Canada, an organization that benefits children affected by war worldwide.

That’s twice the highest amount the event has ever raised in a year.

At left: organizer Quinn Barron exhorts the crowd to donate. All photos by Bill Metcalfe.

Keep the Beat could be Nelson’s most effective fundraiser. Every year about two dozen youth, with no adult involvement and no school affiliation, raise money, usually around $10,000, for War Child Canada. Keep the Beat is not a ticketed event. The money is raised by passing the hat all day at the free concert in the park, plus raffles and a silent auction.

The approximately two dozen Keep the Beat volunteers are usually a who’s-who of Nelson’s teenage movers and shakers.

“This event teaches the youth who volunteer a lot about how to organize something and make effective change, and all the people who organize Keep the Beat go on to do amazing things later in life,” sixteen-year-old organizer Gillian Wiley said.

“It is a great way to get people started. Every year in our little town there are 25 to 30 kids who go all out for this.”

Actually they made $25,000. This sign held by Keep the Beat volunteers doesn’t include an anonymous donation of $16,000. From left: Willow Collins, Morgan Beck, Reece Boulanger, Gillian Wiley, Noah Gaffran, and Emma Chart.

Singer Sarah Jane Hicks and guitarist Jay Schmunk at Keep the Beat.

 

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