Voices for Hope gives back

Anthony Abbondanza
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Choir's annual January concerts raise over $4,000 for WIPCR

Douglas Knight’s Voices for Hope in action during the annual ‘Let Us Entertain You’ benefit concerts Jan. 18 and 19.

Singing tunes like ‘Mambo Italiano’ and ‘My Fair Lady’ for a packed house at Cedar Park United Church, the Voices for Hope Choir amassed over $4000 during their Jan. 18 and 19 ‘Let us entertain you’ concerts to benefit the West Island Palliative Care Residence (WIPCR).

To the satisfaction of the choir’s musical director, the audience understood the nature of the cause.

“Everyone was just so generous,” said Douglas Knight, who’s still waiting for a final tally before presenting a handsome cheque to staff at the WIPCR.

And just like the other benefit concerts, which have helped organizations like NOVA West Island and Friends of Mental Health, the choir of 70 rehearsed every week, ensuring all the right notes were sung perfect.

Following the January concerts, Voices for Hope has raised in upwards of $60,000 – and all of it has been redirected into West Island community groups which need it most.

Hence the singing group’s decision to help the WIPCR, which provides comfort and support services to terminally ill patients and their families.

Voices for Hope has come a long way since Knight founded the singing group in 2008.

“When it began, I was expecting 25 people for the choir just to get started. By the first rehearsal, we had 50. I was going to make that the limit but I kept adding,” said Knight.

Sixty became 65, and soon after, Knight had reached his final limit of 70 members.

“I was surprised I had to consistently add to the list. Once it got going, I could see how people were definitely interested in it,” he said, noting that interested new singers must first contact him before the start of a new season to inquire about vacancies.

Rehearsals are held Wednesday afternoons, 1-3 p.m., September to June at Cedar Park United.

The 70-member choir will hit the stage for two more benefit concerts in late spring at the Pointe Claire church.

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Organizations: West Island Palliative Care Residence, Cedar Park United Church, Pointe Claire church

Geographic location: West Island, Cedar Park

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