The popular Good Friday Blues services normally held each year at Easter will not take place this year.
But that’s not stopping organizers from supporting an important Fraser Valley organization that supports youth at risk.
For the last five years, the Good Friday Blues Band has held two services at House of James in Abbotsford. The services included prayers and readings and lots of blues music and always supported Cyrus Centre.
Over the last five years, the event has raised more than $15,000 – through tickets sales and donations – for this ministry and, even though the band is taking a break, they wanted to find a way to continue to support Cyrus Centre.
“We’re giving up Good Friday Blues for Lent,” jokes Angelika Dawson, band member and organizer. “But we still want to help out the kids who are supported by Cyrus Centre. It’s such an important ministry and they rely a lot on donations from the community.”
Since the band can’t perform this year (one band member is traveling over Easter, and Dawson is dealing with some minor health issues), they were sad that this financial support wouldn’t materialize in the same way – until Dawson came up with an idea.
“I had a friend who, together with his wife, matched donations each year as an incentive to have people make a donation to Cyrus Centre,” Dawson explains. “I contacted them again this year and asked if they would be willing to do this again, even if we weren’t performing. They said yes.”
The couple has agreed to match all donations up to $3,000.
Dawson hopes that people will consider making a donation, despite the fact that the services are not happening.
Donations can be made online at cyruscentre.com. In order to track the amount being given for the matching component, donors are asked to indicate that they are giving their gift “In honour of” someone and write “Good Friday Blues” in the lined marked “occasion”.
Dawson is also blogging throughout the season of Lent and interested readers are encouraged to visit goodfridayblues.wordpress.com
Whether the will regroup next year is not clear but Dawson hasn’t ruled it out.
“I really thought last year was our last year but I underestimated how much I miss it,” she says. “We’ll just have to see how the year unfolds. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from giving a gift to Cyrus Centre today.”