Nearly a week after the “requests” portion of the Christopher Cross Requests facebook group concluded, Kim Beaton remains in awe with the success of the online fundraiser in support of her family.
Malcolm and Kelly Pitre launched the group on Feb. 18 in aid of Kim and Gary Beaton and their 12-year-old daughter, Jayden. Kim Beaton is 11 months into a year-long schedule of chemotherapy treatments after being diagnosed with breast cancer last March, and her husband is currently hospitalized and awaiting manor placement just three years after having to give up his manor job because of early onset dementia.
So far, the fundraiser has taken in $38,850 for the Beaton family. The amount was announced as $38,410 during an appreciation night Route 145 Bar and Grill in Bloomfield hosted Friday night for the contributors, performers and the founders of the popular facebook group that now has nearly 13,800 followers. Donations continue to flow as some contributors have honoured their “requests” pledges by dropping off or mailing donations rather than with eTransfers.
The success and popularity of Christopher Cross Requests (CCR) has already led to the creation of at least three similar online fundraisers, Big Johns Jamboree Online Benefit, in support of John (Big John) A’Hearn who has Cirrhosis of the liver and has been unable to work since last July; Wellington and Area Requests, in support of getting a wheelchair accessible van for five-year-old Kiptyn Collicutt, and East End Girl Requests in support of Amber Jadis, who was very recently diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, and her family.
From the long list of performers who provided approximately 1,100 music videos to the CCR page, more than a dozen of them provided live entertainment during the Friday night event.
“It’s overwhelming; it’s exciting,” Kim Beaton commented.
“It’s amazing, for 22 days, for that big of an amount to come in; it’s overwhelming,” Beaton said. “It’s going to help me and Jayden. By living by ourselves, it will take a burden off of us.
Gary is in the Charlottetown hospital right now so I’m doing a lot of travelling down there to see him.” She had to take last year off from work due to her treatments and she doesn’t know whether she will have recovered enough to return to work this year once her treatments are done.
Beaton extended thanks to the musicians, the donors and the Pitres for their support. “It means the communities and all around were very generous,” she acknowledged. “Malcolm and Kelly are amazing people. They’re generous, to give up all their time.”
There has also been an outpouring of emotional support. “There was a lot of ‘Praying for the Beatons’ and ‘God Bless you’ and ‘Keep strong,’” she said in describing messages on the CCR page.
“That means a lot, to know there are so many people who are praying and cares about our family.”
Kelly Pitre also used the word “amazing” to describe the popularity of Christopher Cross Requests. She said she has the page open on the weekend, playing the videos as if they were her radio. She thinks many other people are doing the same, seeing that the number of members continues to rise.
Pitre said her husband regularly comes up with creative ways to help out with benefits, but she said being a centre of attention at the appreciation night was “very much out of (Malcolm’s) comfort zone.” She added they appreciated and enjoyed the event and the amazing talent, some arriving after their scheduled gigs. Remarkably, “out of my comfort zone,” was a remark many performers made in posting videos, but they said they did so because of the great cause.
The Tignish Legion also has a party in the works to celebrate the success of CCR. Donors and performers are invited to the April 6 event. Pitre said she anticipates many musicians who appeared on the facebook group will be sharing their talents during that live event.