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Musicians band together to provide guitars to Orillia high school

Thanks to Strings for Students fundraiser, 15 guitars will be delivered to Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School

Students at an Orillia high school will soon get a special delivery.

Thanks to the efforts of local musicians, Dave Pellarin’s guitar class at Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School will receive 15 new guitars and related equipment.

More than $4,800 was raised during the Strings for Students concert, which was held July 28 at the Geneva Event Centre.

Jimmy Johnston, of the Doug Trucker Band, came up with the idea. He said he was pleasantly surprised with how the inaugural fundraiser went.

“It’s way more than what I thought (would be raised),” Johnston said.

What began as a Facebook-based fundraiser morphed into a rock concert featuring the Doug Trucker Band, Bleeker, and Danny Webster.

“When these guys got involved, it turned into a big event,” Johnston said of the sold-out show. “Doing as well as it did, we’re pretty excited for next year and years to come.”

Johnston was joined by Bleeker’s Cole Perkins and Taylor Perkins on Saturday at Gilbert Guitars, where they were picking up the instruments, which will be delivered to Patrick Fogarty on Sept. 4.

Details of next year’s Strings for Students fundraising concert — including which school will receive the guitars — are being worked out, but the musicians envision it becoming more successful each year.

“We want it to be bigger and better, and to bring in a new band,” said Taylor Perkins.

Ultimately, they’d like to be able to offer scholarships and expand into Barrie and Muskoka.

Musicians interested in performing are invited to contact organizers through the Strings for Students Facebook page.

Organizers thanked everyone who supported the fundraiser, including Gilbert Guitars owner Jeff Gilbert, who gave them a good deal on the guitars as well as strings, picks, tuners and other supplies.

Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is an experienced multimedia journalist and editor who covers Orillia and other parts of Simcoe County.
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