The Arkells hit the country stage for Country Classic Auction

Country Classic Auction
Volunteers hold up the bid cards of many generous donors during the Make a Difference Appeal.

On Saturday, November 3, 2018 multi-Juno award-winning Canadian rock band, the Arkells, took the stage as the surprise entertainment for the 31 st Country Classic Auction (CCA) – one of southwestern Ontario’s largest charity auctions supporting London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

For eight years, CCA, presented by Siskinds LLP, has kept the live entertainment of the night the best kept secret – surprising over 1,100 guests at the Western Fair District Agriplex with top shelf talent. Past entertainers include Great Big Sea, Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Serena Ryder, Burton Cummings, Walk Off the Earth, Dean Brody and The Trews.

The show is the grand finale to an action-packed night for guests who put on their country duds to support LHSC – playing games, enjoying a gourmet BBQ dinner and bidding to their heart’s content on hundreds of silent and live auction items.

“CCA is always the highlight of the year on many people’s calendars. We’re truly grateful to have an event like this that brings the community together including the support of many partners like Siskinds LLP, Shoppers Drug Mart, National Bank Financial, along with hundreds of donors and volunteers,” says CCA Co-Chair, Reg Jackson.

Organized by London Health Sciences Foundation, this annual event has raised over $10M (net) in 31 years. Funds raised from the event support the highest priority needs of the hospital, which include equipment, research projects, and patient care across the region both now and for generations to come.

A unique segment of the night, the “Make a Difference Appeal”, had an emotionally-charged crowd raising over $337K in 15 minutes for the First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program (FEMAP) – a program providing mental health services to youth who experience mood and anxiety disorders. Among the donations was a special $50K gift made by local mental health advocates and philanthropists, Paul and Barb Hebert, who tragically lost their son, Alex, to suicide in 2009.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds raised during the appeal will help FEMAP with additional resources to support the high demand in our community. With a five-month waiting list, the program is in grave need and these donations will surely go a long way to support our youth,” says LHSF President and CEO, John MacFarlane.

For more information on this event, please visit