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‘Songs For Ken’ raises $10,000 for ALS Society

John Wort Hannam gets a hug from singer Brooke Wylie of Winnipeg.

John Wort Hannam gets a hug from singer Brooke Wylie of Winnipeg.

Roots-rock performer Dave McCann of Lethbridge.

Roots-rock performer Dave McCann of Lethbridge.

John Wort Hannam gets a hug from singer Brooke Wylie of Winnipeg.

John Wort Hannam gets a hug from singer Brooke Wylie of Winnipeg.

Leeroy Stagger

Slide guitar player Matthew Robinson and singer-songwriter Leeroy Stagger.

An impressive line-up of artists loaned their talents Saturday night to the ALS Society of Alberta.
“Songs For Ken” at the Empress Theatre raised about $10,000 to support people living with the incurable disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
“Our mission is to make each day the best possible day for those impacted by this disease,” ALS Society board chair Tara Mackay Pentney said.
ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disease in which nerve cells die and leave voluntary muscles paralyzed. Two or three Canadians die every day of the disease.
The ALS Society has an equipment program, a client services team, programs for children and plays an advocacy role.
“We work really hard to make sure whatever our clients need we try to make possible for them,” Pentney said.
“Songs For Ken was organized by Juno Award nominated singer-songwriter John Wort Hannam in honour of his long-time friend Ken Rouleau, who died from ALS.
“Today is a day that’s dedicated to love and friendship,” Pentney said of Valentine’s Day. “It’s a day we’re supposed to be thinking about the ones we care about. So thank you John, for allowing us to celebrate your friendship and your love for your friend.”
“Songs For Ken” featured performances by John Wort Hannam of Fort Macleod, Amy Thiessen of Calgary, Karla Adolphe of High River, Dave McCann of Lethbridge, Brooke Wylie of Winnipeg and Leeroy Stagger of Lethbridge.
Slide guitar player Matthew Robinson and singer Jenny Burke helped out on several songs.
Allison Brock of CKUA Radio was master of ceremonies for the sold-out event.
Ken Rouleau’s brother Mark was on hand to share a few stories about his brother. Other members of the family, including Ken’s mother and father, were in the audience.
High River artists Annie Froese and Tyrrell Clarke each created a painting on stage while the musicians performed.
At the end of the evening auctioneer Bob Westrop drew winning bids of $900 for a painting by Froese and $1,750 for one by Clarke.
Wort Hannam hopes to make “Songs For Ken” an annual event.

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