NORTH PERTH – “We belong, we’re strong and we need to be here,” Gebadia Haverkamp announced to the supporters who came out to North Perth Pride’s inaugural rural fundraising event on July 24.
The fundraiser, which was held on his farm, featured the grooving beats of DJ Dwayne Minard from Toronto, food, drinks and a ‘Drag Hour’ show presented by Troyboy Entertainment.
Haverkamp said he has had people showing up on his doorstep and in his yard over the last few weeks to tell him how much this community needs something like this.
“They are leaving donations and gifts for the event and it’s just very humbling that something like this needs to be happening here and we’re very happy and honoured and glad to be able to do something like this for everybody,” said Haverkamp.
“We sold 100 tickets so that is huge and it reinforces our belief that this was needed for the community and that next year we will have something even bigger and better – it will tick off all the boxes of what people are expecting,” said Hollie Chavarria.
“I know we have a waiting list for tickets tonight so next year bigger, better and it’s what the community needs,” added Haverkamp.
Chavarria said she could just imagine how big this fundraising would have been had there not been COVID-19-related restrictions on the number of tickets they could sell.
Haverkamp said it was impressive how many local businesses stepped up to the plate to support the event.
“They gave us a lot of great silent auction items, businesses that I didn’t even expect or think to ask,” he said.
Chavarria said there were so many donations they had to defer some because of the limited size of the event.
“There were a few donations we just couldn’t accommodate,” she said. “There were so many people wanting to donate things.”
Although this fundraising event is over, there is still an ongoing GoFundMe – https://gofund.me/de42f70a – and Haverkamp hopes, if possible, to host more events.
“As I said, the community is wanting something like this and desperately, I think, needs something like this so I’m very glad that this is happening,” he said.
Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner