Musicians For Hope

Standing Together With The People Of Our Community

SNAP QUINTE - Rally For Belleville

Rally brings community together

MUSICIANS FOR HOPE: 350 people at Market Square




They played, they danced and they raised a little hope.

Saturday's 10-hour Rally for Belleville concert in Market Square featured nine musical acts uniting for a common cause.

Organized by Musicians for Hope, an informal pool of artists playing concerts for people in need, typically those facing illness or injury, the concert was intended to draw together residents in the wake of many violent crimes in the region.

An unusually high number of murders in the region led to Belleville being dubbed "Murderville" by some out-of-town media last March. Though much of the bad news happened outside the city, many reports cited Belleville as the area's largest city.

There was little mention of that Saturday, however. The focus was on the music and city spirit.

"It's just another opportunity for us to spread the message we've been trying to spread for the last 10 years," said Musicians for Hope co-founder Tim Hunt, the concert's lead organizer. "The main focus for us was to say, 'We can't be walking around in fear.'"

"The quality of our life is the quality of our relationships," added co-founder Tim Campbell. Both men were among the day's performers.

Belleville's Grace Scutella was dancing to the music but said she was drawn mainly by the cause.

"I thought it was an amazing way to bring the community back together," she said. "All these musicians have donated their time."

In fact, everything needed to stage the heavily-promoted concert -- from tents to sound equipment -- was donated for the day.

"It's really a good idea, especially doing a really wide genre of musical acts," said Suzy LeBlanc of Picton.

She said she attended mainly to see the final two bands, local group Last Chance Marie and Toronto-based Low Level Flight.

The crowd throughout the day was small but appreciative, peaking for the final two acts. A group of perhaps 350 people of all ages were on hand by the time Low Level Flight finished just after 10 p.m.

Belleville's Karen Dack grabbed the hands of Jeremy Davis, who was seated in his scooter, for a quick dance.

Davis said the concert was a good example of how the market space should be used more often. He said it gave "the hope that so many need.

"Even though it hasn't been a very big crowd, every person here is committed to providing that and reaching out to their fellow man or neighbour," he said.

Public officials had earlier given their support to the concept.

"Belleville's a beautiful city and we sometimes tend to focus on the negative things that happen instead of all the gifts we do have," Fire Chief Rheaume Chaput said during the brief opening speeches. "This is a celebration of that."

Police Chief Cory McMullan said police "can't do things alone" and the day is another example of citizens "helping out in great times and in times of need."

"It shows you the heart of the city of Belleville," said Mayor Neil Ellis. "It is one of the best places in Ontario to live."

The mayor said city residents appear to be recovering well after a difficult start to the year.

"As a community we are very resilient and we do bounce back very quickly," he said. "There are so many good things in our community and today is a matter of focusing on that, not always that the glass is half empty."




A concert aimed at raising Quinte residents' spirits is about to get some outside help. Toronto rock band Low Level Flight will headline the May 29 Musicians for Hope concert at Market Square. Frontman Ryan Malcolm, who grew up in Napanee and Amherstview, said he and his bandmates "are very happy to help out" given the cause and their fondness for Belleville.

Musicians for Hope is a group of mostly Belleville musicians who perform infrequent concerts for people in crisis, usually serious illness. But after an emotionally draining start to the year -- two city residents murdered, along with a triple shooting/double murder in Ameliasburgh and another killing in Trenton -- the artists decided it was time for a different kind of show.

It's not a fundraiser: organizers Tim Hunt and Tim Campbell said the performance is solely to bring together citizens and revive their faith in their neighbours.

"We're not going to be focusing on anything that is happening," Hunt said Saturday. "We're focusing on our community. "With all this bad news people get cynical. They get fearful. And the last thing we need to do is be walking around in fear." Malcolm said he was referred to Musicians for Hope by local radio man Scotty Lalonde"Belleville's been great for us," he said Saturday via cellphone. "It's a great market for us and there's a lot of great fans we have there so we jump on any opportunity to come there.

"If it's a good cause we'll be there."He said he knows it's "so rare" for the greater Belleville area to have such a violent period. "It's unfortunate, so ... we're going to do our best to raise awareness for this show." Malcolm's big break came with his 2003 win as the first Canadian Idol. But he soon switched gears, moving into the harder rock genre with Low Level Flight.

Various versions of the group have performed three times at the Belleville Waterfront and Ethnic Festival and gigged around the area. "Every time we're there we have such a great time." Malcolm said the band has a few hundred fans in the region and the performers hope they'll all come to the May 29 event. "It's free and all-ages which is perfect for us," he said, explaining it will help draw younger fans.

Low Level Flight is now at work on Exit, the band's second album. Malcolm said they're now considering offers from record labels. "We've spent a lot of time on it so we're being very careful about who we hand our baby over to," he said. "We're about a week-and-a-half to two weeks out from releasing the first single on iTunes.

"We're really just focusing on the live shows." As for the Idol connection, Malcolm says it's no longer much of a factor. "We don't purposely ignore it; it's just something that's behind us. It's kind of like an old girlfriend ... you had some good times but then that's it.

"We definitely have moved on as a band. We're two albums in and the music is totally different." Musicians for Hope's Tim Hunt, who with Belleville musician Tim Campbell co-founded the collective, said the artists are excited to have Low Level Flight join the effort. "We're lucky to have them." An eclectic list of performers is still in the works. They'll rotate across the stage behind city hall between noon and 10 p.m.

Confirmed are local punk band Last Chance Marie, men's barbershop choir The Trentones, women's choir Shout Sister!, rock guitarists and singers Eric Baragar and Robert Vance. Tim Campbell's blues act, Hunt's Solitary Man Neil Diamond show will return and Kris Tischbein will play a solo bass set.

Two more local acts have yet to be confirmed. Hunt said the concert is now sponsored by the Quinte Mall, which is helping cover lighting and sound system costs, and Red Ball Radio, which is underwriting the artists' "green room" tent. Sponsors to supply refreshments for performers would be appreciated. Write to for details.

Musicians For Hope want to raise community's spirits

More Photos


The Intelligencer

Quinte needs a lift � and these musicians want to help provide it.

Active since 2004, Musicians for Hope was founded by Belleville performers Tim Hunt and Tim Campbell. It's a loose association of musicians who play benefit concerts for people in times of need, usually serious illness.

But after watching the local reaction to several high-profile murders and other difficult times, the musicians said they felt the need for another concert. It's scheduled tentatively for May 29 but details are still being confirmed.

"It's been really well-received," Campbell said. "Everybody's been really enthusiastic, and everyone really seems to understand the concept."

"This is probably the closest we'll get to the vision of what it's really about," Hunt said. "It's about everybody coming together."

Musicians for Hope is more about moral support and neighbours helping neighbours, not raising money, but in some cases several thousand dollars have been raised.

The founders have always described their approach as a modern version of an old-fashioned barn raising in which neighbours would help farmers build the structures.

"With what's happened in the city, the barn's kind of been burned down," said Hunt. "We're not looking at raising a barn; we're trying to raise our spirits up � and remind each other that your neighbour's probably a really good guy."

Campbell said the May concert is needed "not so much because of the events but because of people's response to that." Click here to find out more!Click here to find out more! the danger I saw is that people would get the wrong idea of the community they live in and of the people around them," Campbell said.

"It's like when a plane crashes. It can give the impression that this is going on all the time when in fact we know statistically that it's the safest way to travel.

"This is a place where I can walk down my own street and I know all the people there. If I needed help I could go to any one of them.

"We live in a community where we can reach out to each other," Campbell said.

"People had a lot of knee-jerk reactions," agreed Hunt.

"I truly believe what we've experienced here is an anomaly. It's not something people are going to see on a regular basis here. People should not be walking around in fear."

He said several acts have volunteered to perform and more are expected. A wide range of music will be presented.

"I'm really trying to make sure we touch everybody musically," Hunt said.

He added the group's premise requires shows be presented using entirely volunteer resources.

"We can't pay for anything; we don't have any money."

But at the moment, said Hunt, sound and lighting equipment are still needed and it's hoped someone will provide equipment for the day. The concert is being planned as a 10-hour affair.

Campbell and Hunt said they hope the concert will help restore residents' faith in each other and their region.

"Ninety-nine per cent of us are really good, caring, loving people," said Hunt, "and we need to be reminded of that."

Watch The Intell for updates on the concert.

If you'd like to help with the event, send an e-mail message to or visit the group's website is at for details.

Musicians for Hope will also hold a concert at Belleville's CORE Centre this Saturday afternoon for two residents � Charles Benson and Beth Sowden Keene � who are in need of organ donations. See Wednesday's Intelligencer for details.

Tim Campbell, Joe Callahan, Robert Vance, Bim Ingersoll & Tim Hunt


MUSICIANS FOR HOPE staged a free benefit concert on March 21st at The Core Centre for a young girl from our community. Her father is a student at Loyalist college. Gina Hughes is gravely ill and must make frequent and expensive trips to the Children�s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa for care and treatment. Performers include Tim & Dan Campbell (father & son), Bim Ingersoll, Robert Vance, Joe Callahan & Tim Hunt (The Solitary Man).

Photo By Luke Hendry The Intelligencer

Water bottle at the ready, Joe Callahan recovering from laryngitis plays the blues

during Saturdays Musicians for Hope concert in support of Gina Hughes and family.

Gina suffers from a variety of medical problems and requires constant and costly care.

Family 'overwhelmed' by public support

By Luke Hendry The Intelligencer

The family of a three-year-old girl was overwhelmed Saturday by public support at a concert staged in their benefit.

Gina Hughes suffers from numerous medical problems ranging from rickets to an undersize pancreas. She is unable to walk or talk and requires constant care.

Belleville-based Musicians for Hope organized a concert as a sign of moral support for Gina and her family. Musicians performed at Bellevilles CORE Centre in the former Belleville Public Library in a free five-hour show.

Gina and parents Susan Hughes of Belleville and James Hughes of Cobourg were in attendance as dozens of visitors filtered through the venue, donating $2,484 to the family.

Ginas parents have said about $450 worth of her monthly medical treatments are not covered by health insurance, and there are numerous other costs from renovations to specialized equipment that are also not covered. Susan stays at home with Gina; James cares for his daughter on weekends, working part-time and studying at Loyalist College.

Speaking on behalf of Ginas family, grandmother Mary Ede of Cobourg said she and her family were overwhelmed to the point of tears.

It was just awesome the support and the people that we didnt even know that came in and made donations, Ede said. It was a very nice family, community time. It was really nice to see families come in.

She said Gina smiled as the crowd shouted a greeting in unison.

Ede also praised the musicians.

Theyre so considerate and so caring.

Tim Hunt, founder of Musicians for Hope, said the concert was organized within a few weeks of Ede approaching member Joe Callahan about a possible

It was tremendous, Hunt said.

It was way beyond my expectations based on the short time to organize it, he said.

Were in a recession and then we still managed to raise more money.

The only negative part of the day was the theft of the long white and black Musicians for Hope banner from outside the building.

Ede said she is planning a benefit dance this June to further aid Ginas care.

In the meantime, donations to Ginas Journey may be made at Royal Banks using account number 01002 101-368-9.


Offering hope for Gina

MUSIC: Standing together as a community


Posted 9 hours ago

Gina's Journey is a difficult one, but on March 21, she'll receive some help from local musicians.

Gina Hughes will turn four on March 31. Her list of medical problems, though, is already longer than some people's rsums.

That means long stays in hospital, wearing oxygen tubes around the clock, costly treatments, and unending work for her parents, Susan Hughes of Belleville and James Hughes of Cobourg and many other relatives.

So on March 21, Belleville's Musicians for Hope, a grass-roots group helping people in crisis, will hold a concert in support of Gina and her family.

"It's less about money and more about us standing together as a community and saying, 'We're with you,'" Belleville's Tim Hunt, who in 2003 founded the group, said Wednesday.

"It's incredible," said James Hughes. "It's a little overwhelming.

"We really appreciate any help we can get," Susan added. "At the same time, I feel kind of bad asking for help."

The last Musicians for Hope concert was July 7, 2007 for Prince Edward County's Lauren Gillie and her family. Lauren, 6, died of cancer that August.

Gina's prognosis is unclear, but so far more hopeful despite her many health problems. Grandmother Mary Ede of Cobourg has summarized Gina's life in a synopsis entitled Gina's Journey.

The blue-eyed girl had her first seizure just 20 minutes after birth and spent her first six weeks in hospital.

Gina's body doesn't produce a growth hormone, meaning she requires a daily injection. Her family says she has low muscle tone; reduced vision and hearing; rickets; and an undersized pancreas. She must be fed by tube five times a day, has undergone surgery to correct acid reflux and recurring pneumonia, and has had more than 70 X-rays and other diagnostic scans.

Yet she still smiles, claps her hands and plays, communicating via her own sounds.

"We're lucky she's even here," said mom Susan. "She's going to have challenges; they can't say what."

She said it's hoped Gina will attend school or daycare in September and will someday walk and talk.

For now, however, much of her care isn't covered by government health plans because her diagnoses haven't been confirmed. The family is awaiting results of genetic tests but some answers may never be known.

"We're something around the $450 mark a month for what's not covered," Susan said.

Family members said other supports, from home renovations to a vehicle that can hold her custom wheelchair, are also needed.

Dad James works part-time and is in his final year of Loyalist College's community and justice service worker program.

He has Gina on weekends; Susan is unable to work while she cares for Gina during the week.

When grandmother Mary Ede learned the college's Joe Callahan was known for organizing benefit concerts, she contacted him. Callahan, a Musicians for Hope regular, was quick to get the group involved.

The free concert will run from 3 p. m. to 8 p. m. at the CORE Centre, the former Belleville library at Pinnacle and Campbell streets.

Performing one-hour sets will be, in order: Joe Callahan, who performs folk and blues; Rob Vance, a folk, country, and classic rock artist; Bim Ingersoll, an eclectic performer with a sense of humour; Tim Campbell, a Belleville guitarist and singer and another Musicians for Hope regular, this time joined by son Dan Campbell on drums; and Hunt.

"Make a donation, share a kind thought, a prayer," said Hunt.

Hunt said the musicians would still like to see other sectors unite and use their trades or talents to aid a common cause through in-kind donations or other help.

Fundraiser helps ill three-year old girl

By Mike Lake

A group of local musicians will be coming together March 21 to perform at a benefit concert for Gina Hughes.
Hughes, 3, suffers from a variety of illnesses. Her body does not produce human growth hormone, which means that she needs daily injections. She is also hypotonic, which means that her muscles are low-toned. Last December, she was hospitalized for osteoporosis and doctors discovered her pancreas is half the size it should be. She turns four on March 31, and has already spent more than half of her life in hospitals.
Jamie Hughes, Ginas father, said he first learned about Musicians for Hope thanks to his mother, Mary Ede. Ede came to Loyalist College to ask about fundraisers, and someone suggested Musicians for Hope. Things got underway quickly from there.
Everyone we talked to was eager to help, said Hughes. He first spoke to Phil Howlett, the co-ordinator of the community and justice services worker program, in which Hughes is studying. He approached me, and I said yes. That day, I went down and talked to [professor] Joe Callahan, and he had already gotten the date set up and everything ready to go.
Enter Musicians For Hope. According to Tim Hunt, one of the co-founders of Musicians For Hope, the idea grew out of a desire to help the community. In 2003, a Loyalist student was seriously injured in a head-on car crash. As a father, Hunt empathized with the pain the students family was experiencing. Along with his friend and fellow musician Tim Campbell, Hunt held a benefit concert for the student at the colleges Alumni Hall. This was the very first Musicians For Hope concert.
In the past, the benefit concerts have come together based on the needs within the community. We havent had one in almost two years, Hunt said. He added in his experience, families are not looking for a handout. Usually what happens is someone will come to us as a proxy for a family that needs help.
Past concerts have featured a number of different performers. In all, 33 different musicians have come together to show their support over the years. The latest addition to this group is Robert Vance, a local musician who recently contacted Hunt through the Musicians For Hope website
The benefit concerts are always free, but previous events have raised thousands of dollars to help those in need. Hunt said typically, a box is placed near the stage for people to place their donations in. At the end of the show, the money is given directly to either the family in need, or a representative of the family.
One hundred per cent of the money raised goes directly to the families, said Hunt.
The need for this benefit concert is a pressing one. Hughes said although some of his daughters medicine is subsidized, there are still many bills to pay.
Were still paying for diapers and everything else like that, he said.
The other issue is that Gina requires constant supervision, which limits opportunities for her parents to work. This only adds to the bills.
In addition to helping to keep up with bills, Hughes is hoping to put some of the donation money toward making Ginas life better. Funds will go towards items like a bath tub lift seat, a hospital bed, and a stair lift. Making the Hughess home more wheelchair accessible is also a priority.
Although Hunt acknowledged the importance of donations, he stressed that the concerts were about more than that.
Its not about money. Its about standing together with people and showing them that their community cares about them.
Hughes said he hopes to bring Gina to the concert with him.
If shes awake and everythings going okay, we hope to have her there, he said. There should be quite a bit of family there with us.

Lauren Gillie succumbs to cancer at age six
By Luke Hendry

Rednersville's Lauren Gillie is being remembered as a girl whose courage and happy demeanour in the face of cancer inspired a community.
Lauren, 6, died Friday at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Though her condition had been deteriorating since around the time of her diagnosis last March,
 close family friend Lisa Shunock said it wasn't until early last week that it became critical. She was flown to Sick Kids Tuesday.
"Right up until Monday morning her illness was getting worse but she was still just incredible in dealing with it," Shunock said Sunday.
 "She just continued to adapt, She still had joy and was incredibly brave."
Lauren was the youngest in the family of parents Jennifer and Glenn Gillie and sister Caitlin. She developed a diffuse pontine glioma, a tumour in her brain. The condition is inoperable, incurable, and terminal, but Shunock said Lauren handled it amazingly well.

"That's what Jen and Glenn want everybody to know: how proud they are of her, and how she kept smiling through this and dealing with whatever the illness sent her way.
"She adapted and never once complained. When you think about it, that's pretty incredible."
"She had a hard struggle for five days. Tuesday they flew her to Sick Kids because they wanted her to feel safe and comfortable, and they knew the team at Sick Kids was trained to provide the most comforting, best help.
"Right through to her last breath she was courageous and she was surrounded by family.
"She was one of those kids that had a smile that lit up the room," said Shunock. "Even when she got to the point she was losing control of her speech and her facial muscles and confined to a wheelchair, that smile was still there."
Lauren's illness and the family's coping with it were very public and drew support from her family, friends, classmates, and strangers. Belleville council declared July 7 Lauren Gillie Day, the same day the charitable group Musicians for Hope staged a benefit concert for the family.
Shunock said the Gillies are now taking some private time this week to grieve and plan a service in Lauren's memory. That service could happen late this week, she said.
At press time Sunday arrangements were still being made, but Shunock said the Gillies thank all who supported them and Lauren.
"They want to thank this community. They have felt that support."

Weekend concert raises more than $5,000 for Lauren Gillie

Luke Hendry

Previous Page

- Tuesday, July 10, 2007 @ 10:00

Organizers of Saturday's benefit concert for young cancer patient Lauren Gillie
say the public heard not just their music, but also their message.

The free 12-hour concert outside the Quinte Mall was organized as a morale booster
for Rednersville's Gillie family. Lauren, who just turned six, has a very rare form of brain cancer.
Jennifer Gillie, Lauren's mother, said her family sends "a massive thank-you" to everyone involved.
"It was just amazing," she said. "It was overwhelming, the support and the care that was shown by everybody that came."
"It was really quite phenomenal," said Tim Hunt, founder of Musicians for Hope. "It was a lot of fun.
"The community came together in exactly the way we'd Hoped they would. It really was about Hope - it came across that way."
He said spectators came and went throughout the day, and many watched the final acts from their cars near the stage.
"It was almost like a drive-in," said Hunt.

By the end of the concert, $5,115 had been donated. The family also received a package full of donated items,
including gifts for Lauren and her sister Caitlin and a hotel stay for their parents, Jennifer and Glenn.
Hunt praised the event's sponsors, especially Greg Taylor of the Quinte Mall and Wayne McFaul of Harmony Music Plus, f
or supporting the project.

He said he was moved by one concertgoer who said her family read about Lauren and resolved to attend as a family.
 Young sons rolled their pennies to donate.
"That's exactly what it's about. It had an effect on them as a family. That was pretty awesome."
Lauren, meanwhile, was on hand for much of the show. Her father Glenn said she has now lost the use of the left side of her body,
a development that is also affecting her speech, but that she remains "in good spirits."

Musicians for Hope put on 12-hour benefit for Lauren Gillie

Glenn Gillie hold his daughter Lauren.
By Audra Kent

- Tuesday, July 10, 2007 @ 09:00

Belleville On July 7, 11 local performers participated in a free 12-hour benefit concert for Lauren Gillie, a six-year-old Rednersville girl diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

It was on March 13 of this year that a tumour was detected on Laurens brainstem at the base of her brain. The cancer, known as Diffuse Pontine Flioma, is an extremely rare and inoperable form of childhood cancer.

Throughout March and April, Lauren underwent radiation therapy at Torontos Hospital for Sick Children. For six weeks, she and members of her family, travelled to and from Toronto each weekday to receive treatments travelling by car to Oshawa, GO Train to Toronto, and then subway to the hospital.

On May 1, Lauren completed her radiation treatments, celebrated her sixth birthday, and returned to school, the very next day.

She went through six weeks of radiation. Everybody was exhausted, and that little kid would just run everywhere. Shes just absolutely amazing, says Laurens grandmother, Ellie Gillie.

When Tim Campbell and Tim Hunt, Co-Founders of the local grassroots organization Musicians for Hope, heard of Laurens plight, they decided they wanted to help and contacted Laurens parents, Glenn and Jennifer Gillie.

Musicians for Hope is a not-for-profit group of musicians with a vision to bring the community together in the name of hope. They donate their time and talent, and local organizations donate the equipment needed, to host a free benefit concert. One hundred percent of the funds raised throughout the concert go directly to the beneficiary.

Back in the old days, if somebodys barn burned down, the community would get together and rebuild the barn, then eat, and then the band would play. Were the band, says Campbell.

We wanted to start a movement in peoples minds to do whatever it is they do and whatever their talents or gifts are - and take a portion of that and just do them in our community. We dont have to go half way around the world to help, says Campbell.

The Musicians for Hope Lauren Gillie Benefit Concert was held in the east parking lot at Quinte Mall from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on July 7. Many friends attended throughout the day including the Egas family from Prince Edward County.

Everyone loves Lauren. Shes just one of those kids theres something almost magical about her, said Glenda Egas.

Lisa Shunock, also a friend of the family, attended the event with her family including her son, Zack Shunock, a member of Immortality, one of the acts performing in Saturdays concert.

This isnt about raising money. Its about showing the family that theyre important, and that their community cares, said Shunock.

For more information about six-year-old Lauren Gillie, visit her website at Donations can be made at any branch of Scotiabank quoting the account name, Lauren Gillie in Trust.

Saturday concert all about hope

Bass guitarist Kris Tischbein, above at work at Harmony Music Plus,
and his band Stoneboat will headline this Saturday's Musicians for Hope
benefit for the Gillie family.
Tischbein said he relates to what the Gillie family is experiencing
 since he survived a childhood brain tumour.

Photo: Luke Hendry
Luke Hendry  /  The Intelligencer
Local News - Thursday, July 05, 2007 @ 10:00

Kris Tischbein knows what hope can mean to people in hard times.
And on Saturday, he and about a dozen other local musicians will do their
best to bring hope to the Gillie family of Rednersville.

Lauren Gillie is a six-year-old from Rednersville who earlier this year was diagnosed with
a diffuse pontine glioma, an incredibly rare and terminal form of brain cancer affecting only children.
There is no known cause or cure.
Her father, Glenn, maintains a website tracking her progress at

Saturday's 12-hour concert is being organized by Belleville's Musicians for Hope,
a loose alliance of artists who perform in aid of people in need. This will be their eighth and largest concert.
The first of the dozen acts is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Saturday outside the East Side Mario's restaurant at the Quinte Mall.
Admission is free, but donations to offset the family's costs associated with Lauren's treatment are welcome.
Tischbein, 37, is a Belleville native who plays bass guitar in the local band Stoneboat; joining him are singer-guitarist \
Tracey Rogers and drummer Karl Boehme.

Very early in life, Tischbein was diagnosed with a glioma in his frontal lobe.
The tumour was never diagnosed as cancerous, he said, but it altered his life and that of his family.
"I was born with it," Tischbein said. "They removed it, and then it came back, so they removed it again.
Then I had some plastic surgery when I was about six years old."

Because of the type of tumour he had, Tischbein and his family had to travel to Toronto's
Hospital for Sick Children once a year until he was 16.
Each trip involved brain scans and X-rays to ensure there were no new problems.
"All through my teenage years it was, 'Will this checkup be OK?'
"I was lucky. I always tell people it was the best thing that ever happened to me,
because it makes me appreciate every day.

"I think sometimes people lose sight of the fact that life is that fragile."
Beside his surgeries, he said, "My life's been great."
Still, the annual treks to Sick Kids to be examined, and his family's work to make those trips possible, left a very clear impression on Tischbein. So when Musicians for Hope founder Tim Hunt sent out an e-mail asking for acts to support the concert for Lauren, Tischbein was quick to enlist.
"It's a fantastic thing," Tischbein said.
"It took me all of 10 seconds to realize that it was something I wanted to be involved with. Because I'm so close with Karl and Tracey, they didn't hesitate."
"There was no question," Stoneboat drummer Karl Boehme said,
recalling Tischbein's e-mail asking his bandmates to consider playing at the concert.
"Once we read that, it was something we wanted to get behind," Boehme said.
 "I also grew up with a sister who had to go to Sick Children's hospital."
"I have a little girl of my own, and a little boy, too, so it starts to hit home," singer Tracey Rogers said.
"It's for a really good cause," said Rogers. "Obviously cancer can strike anybody at any time."
Tischbein said that since he didn't have the same kind of tumour as Lauren,
 he relates more to the Gillie family's experience in coping with a serious illness.
His own family's role in his treatment left an impression on each of them, he said.
"My parents still think about it and they still know what it's like to have to take time off work,
 go to the hospital, maybe find a place to stay, (and pay) money for gas and money for food.
"And then if you have other children, you have to find a place for them to stay while you're away."

In an interview this past spring, Musicians for Hope's Tim Hunt and Tim Campbell
compared their philosophy to that of the old-fashioned barn-raising:
when someone needs help, their neighbours use their skills to provide that help.
"We're the band at that barn-raising," Campbell said.
"It's all pieces of the puzzle," Tischbein agreed.
"We're musicians, so this is what we give," he said. "But without the other pieces,
 there wouldn't be a stage for us to play on; there wouldn't be a PA system.
"That's an important thing to realize - that you don't have to have a million dollars to help somebody.
You can donate your time."

Lauren's parents Jennifer and Glenn, meanwhile, have said they're "overwhelmed"
with the tremendous support they, Lauren, and older daughter Caitlin have
 received throughout Lauren's illness from family, friends, and strangers.

"I just never would have dreamed about the scale of the support," Glenn said. "It's unbelievable."
And that, said Tischbein, is why the musicians are uniting for them. "It makes people feel not quite so alone," he said.
 "It's more about awareness and a sense of community, where you don't have to be alone when you're going through something terrible.
"You can put a positive spin on it," Tischbein said. "It is exactly that: it's to give hope.
"Because a little hope goes a long way sometimes."

Musicians for Hope will hold a free concert to support
Rednersville's Gillie family Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
in the Quinte Mall's eastern parking lot. Lauren Gillie, 6, has a rare form of brain cancer.
Admission is free but donations are welcome.
Scheduled to perform are:

9 a.m.-9:10: Opening with Greg Taylor & Mayor Neil Ellis

9:10: Bim Ingersoll (classic rock/folk)

10:10: Al Murack & Monique Michaud (country)

11: Bev Verge (singer-songwriter)

Noon: Immortality (classic rock)

1 p.m.: Drew Ackerman & John Devries (classic/country rock)

2: Tim Campbell (blues)

3: Big Black Smoke (British Invasion rock)

4: Peter Vannuis (singer-songwriter)

5: Solitary Man (Neil Diamond tribute)

6:25: Mike "E" Calamusa (Elvis tribute)

7:45-9: Stoneboat (rock)

Schedule is subject to change.

Info on Lauren's illness:

How you can help: Write

Belleville - Local Musicians for Hope is hosting a free benefit concert for six-year-old Lauren Gillie on Saturday, July 7 in the main parking lot of the Quinte Mall.
Founder of Musicians for Hope, Tim Hunt, asked council to proclaim July 7 to be Lauren Gillie Day so that she will be remembered by the community for generations to come.
Lauren was diagnosed in March of 2007 with Diffuse Pontine Giloma, an incurable and inoperable form of brain cancer that strikes children. So rare is this particular form of cancer that only seven children in Canada have it and only 200 cases are reported worldwide.
It is Hunts hope that the community will come together in a show of support for Lauren and her family much the same way that communities came together whenever one of their neighbours suffered a tragedy.
Musicians for Hope has been organizing benefit concerts since 2003, but Hunt noted that this is the largest event to date, with 13 groups performing in a 12-hour period.
Some of the acts included are Big Black Smoke, Tim Campbell and Immortality.
All of the days donations will go directly to the Gillie family to assist with the costs incurred in caring for Lauren.
Musicians for Hopes mandate is to give 100 per cent of all money raised directly to the beneficiary on stage at the conclusion of the concert. We do this by having 100 per cent of all costs donated or sponsored, explained Hunt. There are no administrative costs of any kind and we strive to make the entire process transparent, symbolized by the donation boxes which are literally transparent.
Lauren has little comprehension of her own mortality. She plays and runs and smiles just as a little girl her age should, just by being who she is, she has become the catalyst if you will, that will bring this city together.
The hope is not that Lauren will experience a miracle (although we all pray she will), the hope is in us as a community, coming together, selflessness abounds and hearts and hands are extended to those in need, Hunt exclaimed.

July 7 named Lauren Gillie Day

Photo & Story By: Luke Hendry  /  The Intelligencer
Local News - Tuesday, June 26, 2007 @ 10:00

A grassroots effort to support a critically-ill Rednersville girl tops the list of special proclamations made Monday by Belleville council.
At the request of Musicians for Hope founder Tim Hunt, councillors named July 7 Lauren Gillie Day.
Lauren, who just turned six, has been diagnosed with an extremely rare form of terminal brain cancer.
From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 7, Musicians for Hope will hold a free concert in the Quinte Mall's eastern parking lot.
Donations to offset the family's costs related to Lauren's care will be collected,
but Hunt has said the aim is more about providing moral support for the Gillie family.
Up to 13 acts are expected to perform for free, Hunt said.
It will be the eighth concert by Musicians for Hope, which holds concerts to support people in crisis.
To date the group's seven previous efforts have raised more than $15,000.
Hunt stressed that no one except the beneficiaries is allowed to profit from Musicians for Hope events.
"The sponsorships have been unbelievable," he said, adding support has come from Mississauga to Ottawa.
"The desire to make a difference is very much alive," Hunt said.
Mayor Neil Ellis called the concert concept "fantastic."

main story photo

Tim Campbell, left, plays the electric guitar with fellow musician Tim Hunt. The two are seen jamming a J.J. Cale tune.
photo by Sean McMullen

Musicians inspired by hope
by Sean McMullen

A musician from Belleville has more than just music on his mind.

Tim Hunt, 40, is the co-founder of the non-profit Belleville organization Musicians for Hope, which began roughly six years ago when a Loyalist student was seriously injured in a head-on car collision. Hunt and another local musician, Tim Campbell, decided to hold the organization's first show in the college's Alumni Hall to raise money for the accident victim's family and to show community support.

"We've done concerts for people that have literally been burned out [of their homes] without insurance. It's to help the people and it's to give musicians a way of participating, but it's also for the greater community," Campbell said.

As for deciding which family or person should receive financial aid, Hunt said they don't chase ambulances.

"For me, it's more of a spiritual thing," he said. "It's almost like a ministry for us; however, we're not affiliated with any religious organization of any type or any kind."

The idea for an event starts when Hunt gets a call from someone in the community with a situation, and then he determines whether Musicians for Hope will become involved.

"It's not so much about money. It's more about bringing community together. For example, if something was to happen to your family or to you, you know it would bring you a lot of comfort to know that the community is rallying around you," Hunt said.

Hunt and Campbell both used a metaphor to describe how Musicians for Hope functions.

"In days of old when your neighbour's barn burnt down, everybody got together and built the barn and that's essentially the whole concept of the thing. Everything is free. There is no cost to anything," Hunt said.

Hunt plays many instruments including the guitar, bass and the drums.

"But when I perform, I'm Neil Diamond," he said.

When playing shows, he uses an Ovation acoustic guitar but for rock n' roll, he prefers a Yamaha electric. Hunt has been playing these instruments for 30 years. His earliest recollection of dabbling in music was in 1973.

"I wanted to be Paul McCartney because of The Band on the Run album. So I went down to the local store with my mother and begged her to let me buy the record. I didn't want her help. I ended up getting Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell because the label looks the same," he said, laughing. "I guess for me it's all the classics. I'm a huge Beatles fan."

Hunt is also a big Elvis fan. He liked the Beatles for their songwriting talent and musicianship but he loves Elvis for his voice.

Tentatively on May 12, Hunt plans to have an eight-hour show at the Bernice Parrot stage behind city hall for the Moon family, who are suffering from a medical crisis.

"The woman [wife and mother] just had one of her legs amputated last week and the family doesn't have the financial resources or other resources to know what is available to them out there in terms of support," he said. "This is basically just us rallying around them saying 'your community is in support of you' and hopefully through media, getting people to step up who have information that might be of value to these people."

The number of musicians involved with the organization depends upon the amount of time a show will run. Everything is donated, including musicians' time, equipment and the space.

"And even though everything's free, and everybody [is] donating their time, a lot of people want to do it and I don't always have enough spaces to include everyone," he said.

In the past six years, Hunt said they've had 20-25 different musicians involved.

"What it comes down to basically is most of the shows are a marathon. Like we did one for 12 hours. The current one will be eight [hours] that we're working on so you need to fill that eight hours. And even then, there's several of us who would love to play the entire eight hours, you just can't. So it generally works out to a half-hour to a 45-minute set per musician," Hunt said.

The music played at the concerts usually consists of folk, blues, country and rock as well as original music from the performers.

The show is free for people of all ages and they can donate any sum of money they want.

"If somebody wants to give a quarter, that's fine. It doesn't matter. It's just as valuable as anything else," he said.

During the show, anybody wishing to donate puts his or her money into a clear box so everyone can see it. The money isn't going into his pocket, he said.

"At the end of the show, that box is opened up; the money is counted and presented to the beneficiary on stage. So everybody knows where the money is going... One-hundred per cent of it goes to the person being benefited," he said.

Any of the extra costs for the show like printing flyers, Hunt will pick up because they are not high.

"Musicians, that's sort of who we are. It's something that's bred in us as musicians that we want to give to our communities. It's a natural for all of us to do it, he said.

Hunt said he's never had to beg any musician play at an event. They step forward quickly when they hear a show is going to happen.

"They even bug me when I'm not doing one (saying) 'when are we going to do another one?'" he said.

The show is also good for musicians who don't have many opportunities to showcase themselves.

"The idea is free. If another community wants to pick it up, go ahead," he said.

Musicians seek to inspire hope

Belleville - Musicians for Hope will be holding a benefit concert this Saturday for a family facing a medical crisis.
Tim Hunt, the main organizer behind the event, says the show will run May 12 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Market Square in Belleville.
The concert is aiming to raise funds for the Moon family, the wife and mother of the family just had one of her legs amputated and the family doesnt have the proper financial resources.
Everything is donated, including musicians time, equipment and the space.
Over the past six years 20-25 different musicians have been involved in various community causes.
Hunt explained that the concert will raise funds that will be 100 per cent donations, which will go straight to the family.
Hunt also cautioned that money isnt the main focus of what the Musicians for Hope are all about.
We are musicians who are trying to inspire other people to step up, and help other people out, said Hunt. The main thing is to take a look around at your community and if you see someone that needs help, just go ahead and help them out.
The music played at the concert will consists of folk, blues, country and rock as well as original music from the performers.
The music is secondary to what we do, the main message is hope. said Hunt.
Featured performers will be Tim Campbell the Solitary Man, Bim Ingersoll, Eric Baragar, Samantha ODell, Big Black Smoke, Big Al Murack, Mike E & The Hound Dogs, Joe Callahan and Lorri Taylor.
The show is free for people of all ages and spectators can donate any amount of cash onsite.
Musicians for Hopes mission statement is to bring the community together in the name of hope.