One, huge thank you to C-K

Canadian rocker Sam Roberts sports a huge smile while driving this vintage Mustang in the RM 40th anniversary parade June 20 in downtown Chatham. 

Sir: On behalf of the RM 40th Planning committee, I want to take the opportunity to thank our community for being supportive of the events on June 21-22.

When we set out to plan this weekend back in January, we didn’t know what to expect except that it would be “organized chaos.”

I worked for RM years ago and knew the expectations that Rob (Myers) would have of the event.

We put together the best committee I have ever been part of. Each person brought qualities that were so important to plan a flawless event. There aren’t enough words for me to express my gratitude to each person who spent countless hours over the last six months to put this event together.

This event could not have been successful as well if it weren’t for the over 300 volunteers who donated their time. Each played an important role in the experience we created.

After time to reflect, there are many moments over the course of the weekend that will forever stand out as being some of the best moments of my life – and make me so proud to be part of Chatham-Kent.

It’s no secret I am a Sam Roberts fan. A few days before the event Bruce Corcoran of The Voice interviewed Sam Roberts and he told Bruce that after he signed his first record deal he bought himself a 1966 Mustang. After hearing this tidbit from Bruce, I called the RM crew and asked if we could get this car. Of course we could.

I reached out to Sam’s publicist and asked if he would want to drive the Mustang in the parade. The offer was quickly accepted.

Sam was finishing sound check right when the parade was about to start so we quickly drove him from the park to the Civic Centre. I walked down King Street with him to the car. He marvelled at the beauty of King Street, the beautiful trees, the gorgeous homes, the people on the street and kept telling me how much he loved being in Chatham.

He was being greeted by fans, having his photo taken. I haven’t been more proud to be from C-K. This was a moment I will never forget. To see our community through the eyes of a “rock star” who has travelled the world. We have so much to be proud of here. Thank you, Bruce, for making this moment happen for me.

When planning an event of this magnitude you go into it with every hope that it will be successful. In the end, it is up to the community to come to the events.

Remember that saying, “If you build it they will come?” We built it but still on Friday morning (June 21), I woke up with butterflies still wondering “are people going to come out this weekend?”

I’ve shared this story a few times with my family and friends. I would like to share it with you. After walking Sam to the car, I had yet to be on King Street. I didn’t know how many people were lining the streets. I walked passed Kid Rock and Rob Myers taking photos with fans…how fun to see so much energy and excitement. I passed the Civic Centre, walked by the Kent Club…crossed King and Third…all while looking at my phone answering texts and calls….when I finally looked up.

On both sides of King Street, there were thousands of people lined up on the street…seven rows deep. My eyes filled with tears and all I could think was, “We did it!”

Thank you to everyone – our committee, our volunteers, our sponsors and every single citizen of our community and those who visited for the weekend. It was an unforgettable weekend and I will forever be grateful.

Fannie Vavoulis


RM 40th committee


  1. What an exceptionally well written letter or appreciation and gratitude.. We are very fortunate in Chatham to have you (Fannie), working for the community on projects like this. The entire planning committee clearly did an exceptional job.
    Thank you for all you do !


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