PHOTOS: Sold-out Follow Your Heart benefit concert in Harrison raises $5,000 for charity

Harrison country artist Todd Richard performs at the inaugural Follow Your Heart Benefit Concert on Saturday, Feb. 18. Proceeds from the sold-out concert propelled donations above the $5,000 goal, raising thousands for Variety Children’s Charity. (Photo/Gary Lillico)Harrison country artist Todd Richard performs at the inaugural Follow Your Heart Benefit Concert on Saturday, Feb. 18. Proceeds from the sold-out concert propelled donations above the $5,000 goal, raising thousands for Variety Children’s Charity. (Photo/Gary Lillico)
200 people attended the Follow Your Heart benefit concert on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Harrison Hot Springs’ Memorial Hall. (Photo/Facebook - Todd Richard)200 people attended the Follow Your Heart benefit concert on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Harrison Hot Springs’ Memorial Hall. (Photo/Facebook - Todd Richard)
The Harrison Hot Springs Fire Department presented country artist Todd Richard with a $1,000 donation, putting the proceeds of the Follow Your Heart benefit concert over the $5,000 goal. (Photo/Gary Lillico)The Harrison Hot Springs Fire Department presented country artist Todd Richard with a $1,000 donation, putting the proceeds of the Follow Your Heart benefit concert over the $5,000 goal. (Photo/Gary Lillico)
Country artist Becca Hess belts out a tune at the Follow Your Heart benefit concert on Saturday, Feb. 18. (Photo/Gary Lillico)Country artist Becca Hess belts out a tune at the Follow Your Heart benefit concert on Saturday, Feb. 18. (Photo/Gary Lillico)
Country fiddler Mike Sanyshyn performs at the Follow Your Heart benefit concert. Fellow Jackson Hollow founder Tianna Lefebvre also performed that evening. (Photo/Gary Lillico)Country fiddler Mike Sanyshyn performs at the Follow Your Heart benefit concert. Fellow Jackson Hollow founder Tianna Lefebvre also performed that evening. (Photo/Gary Lillico)
Tianna Lefebvre sings at the Follow Your Heart benefit concert on Saturday. Proceeds for the event raised more than $5,000 for Variety Children’s Charity. (Photo/Gary Lillico)Tianna Lefebvre sings at the Follow Your Heart benefit concert on Saturday. Proceeds for the event raised more than $5,000 for Variety Children’s Charity. (Photo/Gary Lillico)
Country artist and benefit organizer Todd Richard (third from the left) poses with his musical guests and members of the TR Band at the Follow Your Heart benefit concert on Saturday, Feb. 18. (Photo/Gary Lillico)Country artist and benefit organizer Todd Richard (third from the left) poses with his musical guests and members of the TR Band at the Follow Your Heart benefit concert on Saturday, Feb. 18. (Photo/Gary Lillico)

The first annual Follow Your Heart benefit concert held Saturday, Feb. 18, was a huge success.

The sold-out crowd and local businesses and organizations raised more than $5,000 for Variety Children’s Charity, exceeding the night’s goal. This includes a $1,000 donation from the Harrison Hot Springs Fire Department.

“Amazing what can happen when you text a crazy idea to the right frands,” Harrison Hot Springs country artist Todd Richard posted on his Facebook page with a number of photos from the night’s events. “Frands” is a term Richard often uses to combine the word “fans” and “friends.”

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Richard extended his personal thanks to not only the HHSFD but to Tourism Harrison River Valley and all the volunteers who helped make the event possible.

Richard, a two-time winner of the B.C. Country Music Awards Humanitarian of the Year, organized the event with the help of a number of local organizations; it was an idea he’d cultivated since he released his song “Follow Your Heart,” which is dedicated to Variety Children’s Charity.

From its conception, the community embraced the Follow Your Heart benefit, with Robert and Sonja Reyerse backing the idea immediately and silent auction donations and volunteer offers coming in every day leading up to the event. The Village of Harrison Hot Springs donated the cost of renting Memorial Hall for the event.

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Richard invited a number of musical guests, including Chilliwack bassist Gord Maxwell and Jackson Hollow co-founders Mike Sanyshyn and Tianna Lefebvre.

About 200 people attended the benefit.

In B.C., Variety Children’s Charity has an office in Burnaby; The B.C. chapter was established in 1966. Variety supports children and youth with special needs across the province and beyond. It began in 1927 when 11 entertainers formed the Variety Club; the group banded together to raise an abandoned infant found in one of their theatres. Today, the organization spans 11 countries with 40 chapters.

To learn how you can help, visit variety.bc.ca.


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