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Poignant donation to Zeke Aid auction

Favourite fiddle given to raise funds

Clare McFaul (holding banjo) in a promo shot of Grandpa's Goodtime Gang. Photo courtesy Judy Fraser.

One fiddler reached out to another in a very poignant way this week, with a very special donation to the “Zeke Aid” Silent Auction. The concert and fundraising effort is being put together to help fiddler Zeke Mazurek, who is fighting a career-ending battle with cancer. Although the concert itself is sold out, donations have continued to pour in for the Silent Auction, which will take place in the George Cook Room at the Regent Theatre.
One of the items that has been offered for auction has special meaning, for both Zeke and the community at large.
“Karen Empringham and Sidestreet Gallery’s Paulette Greer are managing the auction,” says Judy Fraser, one of Zeke Aid’s organizers, “but we’ve all been taking calls and collecting items. Last week Janet Kellough received word that Wayne McFaul of Harmony Music Plus in Belleville wanted to donate a violin, which by itself is a perfect item to have on the table. But when I went to pick it up on Saturday, I was totally shocked when the clerk handed me a Yamaha 5100K electric violin.”
Concerned that a mistake had been made, Fraser left her telephone number in case she needed to return the instrument.
A call did come – not to ask for the violin back, but to explain why it was being given.
“Wayne said that the instrument had been the prized possession and fiddle of choice for his late father, Clare McFaul, who played for many years with Grandpa’s Goodtime Gang. Clare always had a high regard for Zeke, and Wayne felt that his father would want his favourite fiddle to be in this auction to help.”
McFaul is also providing a note to go with the fiddle, telling the story of Clare McFaul and how much he loved Zeke.
“It’s a very moving tribute,” Fraser says. “It makes me want to cry.”
Nor will it be the only musical instrument offered at the auction. Picton’s music store Strum has also donated a student violin.
“Everyone wants to help,” says Karen Empringham. “Some people who have donated items to the auction don’t even know Zeke. They have only sat in audiences and heard him play. They have said that they just want to thank him for enriching their lives with his beautiful music. Now that’s a legacy!”
Among those who are helping out is the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival. They will be passing the hat (or the pickle jar) at their free “Jazz Jam” at the Regent on Saturday afternoon.
Visual artists have also made major contributions to the cause. John Cruickshank has donated a multimedia sculpture entitled “Rebecca Refuelling” and a numbered print by Rene Gagnon has been donated by Jean Hervieux. Items have poured in from local artists like Peta Hall, Shattered and Gerry Putman and from businesses as diverse as Diva Decorative Arts, many of the wineries,  Picton Home Hardware, and Oakendell Centre, which is offering channeling, past life regresssion and Tarot card sessions.
Many of the items are on display in the window at AV Photo on Main Street in Picton, courtesy of Dave and Angela Strachan, and bids can be placed there. The George Cook Room at the Regent will open at 4 p.m. on August 23rd, and interested bidders do not need to have a ticket for the concert in order to participate in the auction. Bidding will close at the end of the show’s intermission.
And anyone who would like to make auction or monetary donations can contact Judy Fraser at 613-476-2712 or Janet Kellough at 613-476-3988.

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