June 16th, 2024

City hosts concert stop on Ukraine benefit tour

By Lethbridge Herald on April 18, 2022.

Mari Coetzee plays a cello solo as part of the Tour pour Ukraine, a touring benefit concert held in support of Ukranian refugees over the weekend at the Salvation Army Community Church. Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – apulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Tour pour Ukraine, a two part fundraising event organized to support Ukrainian refugees through music and biking made its way to Lethbridge Sunday. 

The tour is organized by Mari Coetzee and her husband William Poffenroth with the help of multiple special guests. The two part tour consists of 12 concerts across Alberta, with Lethbridge being the third stop, and a tandem biking of 1,263 kilometres which is the equivalent of biking across Ukraine. 

“We were trying to think of a way to help with the situation. It’s difficult being in Canada and feeling so helpless at times, so we decided to do a two-part tour,” said Coetzee. 

The concert took place at the Salvation Army Community Church where 13 local musicians came together to play for the cause. 

“The Salvation Army Community Church were so welcoming, so easy to work with. We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Coetzee. 

She said they were very grateful for all the musicians that came out to help as well. 

Amongst the local musicians were the Bridge Brass Quintet, who happened to have some music ready to go and quickly agreed to play it for the cause.

“There’s so many people needing help of all kinds and we’re so fortunate around here that we live pretty peacefully, and so we can help others to overcome the problems they’re having because it’s war over there. And it’s just a nasty thing for all them, and if we can help give them a little bit of comfort well, that’s something,” said Don Robb, member of the Bridge Brass Quintet. 

The two part tour also has a two part way of helping those in need in Ukraine. Half of the proceeds will go towards two orphan sisters who are making their way across Europe with hopes to travel to Canada to join their sponsor family. 

The other half of the proceeds will support international humanitarian aid teams, such as the Salvation Army, in their work with Ukrainian refugees. 

Cello player, Jane Eaton, who contributed to a few pieces including the Canadian and Ukrainian anthems, said she was very happy to play for a good cause, especially after so long of not being able to play so it was a win-win situation.  

“I think sometimes when you’re like a younger person like me, I’m not an adult really, and so it’s kind of a way to do something for something, because your options are limited. So, it was really a blessing to be able to work with Mari and William and to play for something that actually has benefit,” said Eaton. 

For more information and to donate visit https://givesendgo.com/dianasofiya 

Follow @APulidoHerald on Twitter

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