The show will go on.
That was the feeling of Windsor’s best-known philanthropic band, The S’Aints, when the subject arose around this year’s Sleighing Hunger concert.
It is the 10th anniversary for the holiday concert, which has raised more than $270,000 over the last decade for area food banks. With the need for assistance in the community greater than ever, the group of veteran musicians decided to go virtual, since an in-person concert was out of the question this year.
“The group was 100 per cent behind the idea,” said drummer Jeff Burrows. “The concern was whether we could get together and film it. So, everybody maintained their distance…and we went back to St. Clair, where the show began 10 years ago, to film it.”
The S’Aints 2020 Sleighing Hunger concert will be broadcast virtually on December 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at https://sessionslive.com/TheSAints/tickets. Prices start at $25 for General Admission, to $50 for a family bundle. Other tickets can be purchased in a package which includes a Christmas album and the 10th anniversary live album.
The concert is sponsored by St. Clair College, in partnership with LiUNA Local 625.
“I’m confident that everyone in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent will continue to support this year’s on-line presentation of the concert and CD-sale because, although its format may have changed, its vital purpose of helping the under-advantaged remains the same,” said St. Clair College President Patti France. “If any year has ever warranted the old show business expression ‘the show must go on’ it is this one.”
Burrows said the virtual show is just over an hour in length and will feature holiday classics, along with a couple of original pieces by lead vocalist Jody Raffoul, that Burrows says “will move you to tears.”
The Windsor Essex Food Bank Association has had a total of 85,000 visits since the beginning of the pandemic and President June Muir expects another spike as a second wave of COVID-19 cases emerges.
“The support we receive annually from the Christmas performance allows us to continue serving the most vulnerable in Windsor-Essex as we work to address local hunger and food insecurity issues,” Muir said.
The funds will be used to replenish shelves at the Unemployed Help Centre food bank in Windsor and Chatham’s Outreach for Hunger food bank.
“This year‘s Sleighing Hunger concert will have a different face to it but nonetheless it will do what it was intended to do, which is to support families in need during the holiday season,” said Brenda LeClair, Executive Director of Chatham’s Outreach for Hunger.
“Our LiUNA family love the show and look forward to it every year,” said LiUNA business manager Rob Petroni. “It has now become a LiUNA Christmas tradition. We’re happy to be involved with such a large-scale community effort for foodbanks in both Windsor/Essex County and Chatham-Kent.”