Country music star Adam Gregory was in Leduc recently to play a fundraiser for breast cancer research held at the Maclab Theatre.
It just goes to show what you can do when you have a passion for a project, you put your mind to it, and your back into it. Four sisters from Leduc recently showed everyone the true meaning of girl power!
Meagan, Bailey, Courtney and Alysa Cornelius sadly lost their grandmother, Terry Schausitz, to breast cancer last year. Once the shock and the worst of the grief had eased from their sudden loss, these strong young ladies decided that they wanted to honour their grandmother's memory by helping to eradicate the disease that had stolen her away. So this dynamic group of young women thought big, and went after their goal; a fundraiser with a big name star to raise money for research to help find a cure for breast cancer.
But who to get? It's not like you can just call up a celebrity and have them show up for your fundraiser…..or can you?
Once the girls had decided on who they wanted, 18 year old Meagan, who already had a lot on her plate with working a part time job and studying for her grade twelve finals this year, began calling and emailing his promotional people and suddenly, one day not too long after that, the phone rang and she answered it to find herself talking to none other than country music star Adam Gregory in person!
Adam, being a local boy from St. Albert, had been told about the fundraiser the Cornelius girls were attempting to put together, and having recently lost his grandmother as well, though not to breast cancer, he personally called the girls, had an extended conversation with Meagan over the phone, and ended up offering to play for them at a seriously reduced rate. They had their star! Now the hard work began.
Meagan and her sisters made a presentation to City Council making them aware of their plans, and the City got behind them with a grant for $1000.00 to help offset the costs for their event.
Meagan also works at the Smitty's Restaurant in Leduc and when she approached the owner, Greg Akroyd for help, he not only donated many of the items the girls needed for the BBQ they were planning in conjunction with the concert, but he also offered to feed Adam and his band for free on the night they came to town.
Owners Tom and Nadine Leming of the Great Canadian Dollar Store in Leduc were also a big sponsor of the event, providing the girls with all of their decorative accessories and the rest of the BBQ items they needed, as well as purchasing tickets for the concert itself.
Precision Drilling got wind of the sister's efforts and they made a donation of $2,500.00 in cash to the event!
So with all of their hard work already paying off, the Cornelius sisters were thrilled to be able to make a donation of $3,000.00 towards breast cancer research before the concert even happened!
Support began to flood in, in the form of donations for the silent auction that would be taking place alongside of the concert.
The night of the concert found the sisters excited but very, very tired. About 130 tickets had been sold, Edmonton radio station Joe FM had parked their promotional vehicle out in front of the Maclab Theatre all afternoon to help draw attention to the event while the girls worked the BBQ, and numerous radio stations including CISN Country were announcing the concert for free over the airwaves. The foyer of the Maclab was stacked with goodies for the silent auction, 50/50 tickets went on sale during the evening hours prior to Adam Gregory taking the stage, and door prizes were waiting to be awarded to some of the lucky attendees.
The evening's entertainment got underway with a group of talented local youth, who are friends of the Cornelius sisters, and have experience in musical theatre through Leduc Composite High School. They agreed to put together an impromptu band as an opening act, and they dubbed themselves the Foolish Fellows. Foolish or not, they did a great job of entertaining everyone and getting them ready for Adam and his band to take the stage.
Then the long awaited moment finally arrived, when after all their hard work, the lights dimmed, the band began to play, and country music sensation Adam Gregory stepped on stage. It was definitely worth the wait, as Adam put on an incredible show. It's easy to see why he is so popular, with his amazing voice, talent on the guitar, and the fact that he is extremely good looking doesn't hurt either if all the ear to ear smiles and yelling from the women in the crowd meant anything! One could safely say that the Cornelius sisters' plan to honour their grandmother's memory was a huge success!
So at this point in time, even though the original concept of the fundraiser and concert has been achieved, the generosity of the people in Leduc was such that the girls still have many items that they were not even able to put on display at the original silent auction. So they now plan on continuing their fundraising efforts with a couple more BBQ's before summer's end and another auction to raise even more funds for breast cancer search. Girl power indeed! Ladies, your grandma would be proud.