By Sue Tiffin
Published June 1 2017
A Minden “weekender” who has been visiting the town for more than 50 years is pitching in to help the community.
John Dawson a Pickering resident is a co-organizer of the Make it a Day in Minden event happening downtown on June 3. Together with fellow musician Gary Mark the music event is being organized at the Dominion Hotel to encourage visitors to shop and to raise funds for flood relief.
“After seeing the town flooded again I thought it was time to give back to the community” said Dawson whose family bought a cottage on Big Bob Lake in 1958. “On the long weekend I sat in front of the Dominion and raised over $200 to give back.”
Dawson called the setting the “best backdrop ever” even though there were “sandbags included.”
Other Durham musicians including Rob Boutcher and Karrie Lynn Diamond will be joining on the stage.
"It’s very humbling and flattering” said Chamberlin. “To have neighbours reach out a hand and say we don’t know you but we see the town is in need and we just want to help you along.”
Chamberlin said Dawson is a friend of the Dominion and his help is appreciated.
“What I most appreciate about what’s going to go on on Saturday is that they’re not just giving up their time to drive up and come and play” said Chamberlin. “They’ve asked all of their friends if they could possibly come up and shop in the stores and have a bite to eat and maybe a beer.”
Chamberlin said business is picking up again since the flood waters have receded but that it caused many businesses in town to face a slow start to a busy season they rely on.
“We all got kind of hurt when it was announced the town was closed” said Chamberlin. “Anytime you claim a state of emergency it sends a message that you’re closed to business too.”
“We’re maybe a bit bruised right now but we’re recovering. The music will ring up and down the street and downtown Minden will be a happy place to be.”
The event takes place from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free.