The organizers of Rock N Roar for Sophia are thankful Chatham-Kent lived up to its reputation as king and queen of the last-minute club.
Rock N Roar was a fundraiser featuring local bands and local auction items to raise money for Ronald McDonald House in London, specifically trying to raise $10,000 to have a room there named in honour of Sophia Vlasman. The local teenager is battling cancer of the sinuses.
Thanks to a late surge in ticket tales and a strong silent auction, the event topped the $10,000 mark.
Earlier this month, Deb Owen, one of the main people behind Rock N Roar, feared slow advance ticket sales would lead to a fizzle rather than a sizzle for the local concert and silent auction.
But Owen said estimates put between 400 and 500 people in the theatre for Friday’s concert, which featured local acts Walkin’ 47, Face 4 Radio, Superfly and Brooklyn Roebuck.
“I was very concerned about the sound, because the guys (musicians) were worried because we had to have people in the seats,” she said. “The seats were filled and the sound was amazing.”
The night had its share of highlights, Owen said. To open the event, the Ursuline College Chatham “Roar” video played on the drop-down screen, while dancers came down the aisles and onto the stage to perform a choreographed routine, ending with them holding up signs that read, “ We love you, Sophia.”
“The opening act, even men were crying,” Owen said.
Walkin’ 47 wrote a song especially for Friday night, for Sophia – “Hope, Strength, Courage,” while Face4Radio closed the show by bringing Roebuck on stage to perform “Roar.”
The last-minute surge also made for a very successful silent auction, Owen added, where a cottage rental, one-of-a-kind painted Rock N Roar guitar, and other items fetched a good return.