Those who attended the second annual Road Trauma Awareness fundraiser at the Rocking Horse Pub in Nanoose Bay Saturday, August 25 were treated to some fantastic music as they helped out a good cause.
Keith Cyr, who organized the event to raise awareness and help prevent the carnage that continues to happen due to car crashes, had several volunteers who helped sell 50-50 tickets and put together an amazing silent auction.
The event raised $2,500 which will be used to promote road sense and awareness of the epidemic of automobile crash fatalities.
Cyr, who has also put together a collection of photos of roadside memorials in a book in honour of those who have died in car crashes in British Columbia, said the day of the fundraiser was also a busy one for automobile accidents in Oceanside.
“It is ironic how many car crashes there were that afternoon in Parksville. I got stuck in a huge traffic jam on Saturday,” he said and added it was another reminder of why he is trying to get the message out about road safety.
His book titled I M … A Book To Remember includes pictures of memorial crosses representing crash victims that dot our roadways, photos and names of people memorialized, statistics of how many people die in car crashes, as well ways to be safer on the road and prevent the havoc that ensues after a car crash.
Cyr is working on turning the Road Trauma Awareness Group into a society and he admitted that although the event wasn’t a sell-out, it was successful in spreading the message that terrible tragedies can be prevented.
“This was more of a community event to get it off the ground. All crashes are equally horrific and especially when someone young is involved it rips at your heart. There is no cure once you have the trauma … but there is a cure to prevent it.”
The highlight of the night was the top notch entertainment which included award winning recording artist Andrea Smith.
The talented singer, songwriter and guitar player who calls Nanaimo home demonstrated why she is such a musical force.
She performed original and cover tunes that ranged from blues to rock with her sultry voice that can only be described as captivating.
Back in April, Smith took home Female Songwriter of the Year at the Island Music Awards. The talented team of Pat Coleman and Rick Salt took home Producer and Engineer of the Year for Smith’s album Sweet Embrace.
Smith is gaining international interest and recognition not only for her songwriting but for the skillful rendering of her material when she performs live.
During the first set she performed songs from her about to be released new CD Transition with guitarist Alan Medcalf. In the second set she played songs from her CD Sweet Embrace as well as covers with a throw together band made up of some local talent that included Keith Cyr on drums, Mike Vaira on guitar and Mike Jarvis on bass.
Smith said she was more than happy to take to the stage for such a worthy cause.
She is currently putting the finishing touches on her new CD and hopes to release it in a couple of months.
“I am just tweaking the vocals and the final mix,” she stated.
She added that since some of her former band mates have moved in different directions, she has been working with different musicians and for her new CD she had some of the best join her in the studio including Pat Steward on drums, Rick Salt on guitar and Todd Sacerty on bass.