Annual holiday benefit concert raises $80K

A cheque for $50,500 is presented to the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association, March 3, 2021. Photo provided by St. Clair College.

A cherished holiday tradition provided a virtual helping hand for food banks in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.

The tenth annual S’Aints Sleighing Hunger benefit concert went virtual this past holiday season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that did not stop people from contributing $80,000 to help those less fortunate.

The concert is usually performed at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor, but two thousand people attended the virtual concert, streamed on December 18, 2020, and the money raised came from ticket sales, music downloads, CD sales, and various contributions from sponsors.

A sum of $50,500 has been presented to the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association, and $25,000 more went to the Chatham Outreach for Hunger. The student representative bodies at St. Clair College’s South Windsor and Chatham campuses provided a total of $4,500.

“To set a fundraising record amid a pandemic with a concert that, by necessity, had to be staged remotely, is the most heart-warming ending imaginable for this COVID-era Christmas story,” said St. Clair College President Patti France in a statement. “I suppose it just goes to show you that the combination of Saints and S’Aints, and the cosponsoring LiUna Local 625, plus the caring attitude of our community creates a powerful partnership in the annual effort to ‘Sleigh Hunger’.”

The concerts have raised over $350,000 in the past decade.

“The opportunity to record, perform during the Christmas season, and partner with St. Clair College has been both humbling, and extraordinary,” said S’Aints founding member Jeff Burrows. “Although we missed celebrating our tenth anniversary live at our partner’s Caesars Windsor Colosseum, we managed to pull off a ‘virtual concert’ thanks to our friends at LiUna Local 625.”

A cheque for $25,000 is presented to the Chatham Outreach for Hunger, March 3, 2021. Photo provided by St. Clair College.

A cheque for $25,000 is presented to the Chatham Outreach for Hunger, March 3, 2021. Photo provided by St. Clair College.