Nearly a week after the requests portion of the Christopher Cross Requests Facebook group concluded, Kim Beaton remains in awe of 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.
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 three years after having to give up his manor job because of early onset dementia.
So far, the fundraiser has raked in $38,850 for the Beatons.
Recently an appreciation night was held at Route 145 Bar and Grill in Bloomfield hosted 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 request pledges by dropping off or mailing donations.
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 recently diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.
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,” Beaton said. “It’s amazing for that big of an amount to come in (in 22 days).”
“It’s going to help me and Jayden. 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. “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.
“It 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 page’s popularity. She said she keeps the page open playing the videos as if it were the radio.
Pitre said her husband regularly comes up with creative ways to help out with benefits, but she said being the centre of attention at the appreciation night was “very much out of (Malcolm’s) comfort zone.”
“Out of my comfort zone,” was a remark many performers made when 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.