2007 Annual Fundraising Concert

The 2007 version of the CASS fundraiser concert was once again held at Wesley-Knox United Church in London, Ontario. This concert featured songs with Denise Pelley and Cheryll Harrison, the Medway and Saunders High School choirs, and special guest speaker Ken Dryden. You can also find more information here on the previous year's concerts.

Each year CASS holds this special concert to raise awareness of our work in the southern Sudan region, and to raise funds to help support that work. The entertainment is provided by local choirs and personalities. Many of the pieces are written or arranged specifically for this concert, in most cases by local choir leaders like Brian Ratcliffe and Stephen Holowitz. There is no cost to attend, but many generous donors use this as an opportunity to support CASS. In 2007 over $30,000 was donated.

Some of the other special performers for 2007 included Donna Creighton (recorder), Olivia Grigg (Violin), Jim Smythe (Bass), and Sandy MacKay (Precussion). Choir solists included Alexis Gordon, Adrian Smith and Jordan Driediger.

Ken Dryden, a Toronto MP, lawyer, and former goaltender for the Montreal Canadians, was the special guest speaker. Ken Dryden visited the Darfur region of Sudan earlier in 2007. His message was to continue the pressure and outrage to end the suffering there. Answers to end poverty and suffering are difficult to find, but Canadians must continue to care.

The Nov 5 2007 edition of the London Free Press wrote this about Ken Dryden's message:

Ken Dryden
Ken Dryden speaking at the 2007 CASS concert.
"The government of Sudan doesn't really need Darfur," said the former hockey star, so the situation in that region remains tragic.

He told the annual fundraising concert for Canadian Aid for South Sudan that the leadership of the country has no incentive to bring about peace and cares little about the southern Darfur region.

Dryden said 80 per cent of the country's revenue comes from oil and most of that comes from the south of the country. China, he said, takes about 90 per cent of what Sudan produces so the world must pressure China to consider things like sanctions to help end human suffering there.

The 2008 Olympics in Beijing may provide an opportunity for the world community to bring pressure to bear on China while the world brings unparalleled scrutiny to the host country.