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McDermott’s ‘Music in the Key of Giving’ to raise awareness and funds for Canada’s military


John McDermott pictured at the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial while a C-17 aircraft flies overhead. Ross Lees photo

By Ross Lees
While the majority of Canadian military personnel are no longer in battle zones,  the affects of previous tours are still being felt by military personnel and their families in the form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Which is why Canadian musical icon John McDermott, in partnership with True Patriot Love Foundation, has launched a limited edition fundraising CD and made two scheduled stops at ONroute locations along the Highway of Heroes Wednesday and a third at the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial (ARM) at Bain Park in Trenton on the first Highway of Heroes Concert Tour.

The new CD, Music in the Key of Giving, will be sold at all ONroute locations. Every dollar raised will go toward support for Canada’s military, veterans and their families.

Honoured to be able to contribute to fundraising for the troops and their families through McDermott House of Canada and in association with ONRoute, President’s Choice Financial and the True Patriot Love Foundation, McDermott performed for the troops within sight of the ARM and made his first visit to the memorial.

“It’s spectacular,” he said of the monument as he viewed the names of the fallen military personnel. “Looking at the monument, it’s pretty clear why we are doing this tour. McDermott House of Canada is proud to partner with ONroute, President’s Choice Financial and the True Patriot Love Foundation in supporting our troops and their families when they need it most. It is an honour to serve those who serve,” said McDermott.

It was also the first visit to the ARM for Michael Burns, the Vice-Chair and Co-Founder of the True Patriot Love Foundation, although he had been invited to the opening ceremonies of the memorial.

“I was out of the country at the time but a friend of mine had lost his son in July of 07 who is on the wall – Matthew Dawe,” he noted, adding he wanted the tour to send a message to military members and their families. “We’re here and we’re never going to forget is the message we want to send.”

8 Wing Commander Col. Sean Friday said it was important to see support coming for military members and their families in the form of True Patriot Love and the McDermott House of Canada.

“People in uniform chose to be in uniform, but their families kind of got conscripted,” he said. “But you know, those families really are the strength behind the uniforms.”

Linda Blanchette, a military daughter, wife and mother, expressed her thanks, saying, “The military has been my whole life; between growing up the daughter of a soldier, marrying a soldier, and now being the mother of a soldier. My husband first got sick in 1995 when he came home from Bosnia. He will never be the same person I married as a result of his serious PTSD. Without support for military members and their families like ours, I know these ill and injured soldiers would be even worse off. They wouldn’t have the care and support they need.”

“ONroute is pleased to provide hospitality along the Highway of Heroes for this initiative. We are providing Canadians with an opportunity to show their support for military families when they purchase a CD at any of our 17 locations across Ontario,” said Ken Tanenbaum, Chairman of ONroute.

“The challenges facing our military families are unique and immense. This is our turn to support them after the sacrifices they have made to keep our country safe and strong,” said Burns.

True Patriot Love honours the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Forces, Veterans and their families by:
• stepping in where governments are unable to, funding programs that support the physical, mental and social well-being of members of our military, no matter where they are posted—in Canada or abroad;
• promoting the special skills and capabilities of our military personnel resulting from their unique conditions of service; and
• providing a channel through which everyday Canadians, corporations and philanthropists can express their appreciation for our military and their patriotism.
Visit for more information.

McDermott House Canada is a registered charity founded by Canadian Singer John McDermott. The charity is dedicated to serving those who serve. McDermott House Canada’s mission is to promote the highest quality of life for patients facing the final stage of a terminal illness. John’s passion for honouring veterans and the selfless sacrifices they make to preserve our liberties dates back to his childhood where he learned of love, war and loss from his family’s personal stories and through their music.

The first project for MHC is the expansion and renovation of the Sunnybrook Palliative Care Unit in the Veteran’s Centre, creating an innovative and warm, home-like environment for Canadian veterans, military, first responders and the community.
Visit for more information.

“The nut for that is $3.6 million,” McDermott said, “and two years in, we’ve raised $1.3 million.”

Before this first Highway of Heroes Concert Tour had ended, there was already talk of the tour being extended to include from Windsor to the Quebec boarder and perhaps even including other military bases and many more ONroute locations.

Filed Under: Arts & CultureLocal News

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