Vancestock II - El Mocambo, Toronto - Wednesday, September 12, 2013
Trails Youth Initiative takes vulnerable, at risk youth from the inner city of Toronto who may be struggling with issues related to adolescence and their environment and gives them a place and opportunity to develop their confidence and self-esteem so as to make good life decisions. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Children enter the program at age 12 and make a 4 year commitment to attend the Trails camp facility located in the Newmarket area for 2 weeks every summer and for one weekend [Friday through Sunday] every month from September to June. 90% of those who enter the program complete it. Moreover, 90% of the youth who have completed the Trails program go on to post-secondary education as compared to only 10% of their peer group. If ever there was a case for an immediate ROI, Trails is it.
We raised some $12,000 last year. I set a goal of $20,000 for this year. I am delighted to report that by reason of your kindness and generosity, we have raised over $28,693. It costs $6000 per child for one year's participation in the program. Together, we have made an immediate difference in the lives of 4+ children. Put another way, we have more than covered the cost for one child to enter and complete the program. We have "stacked the deck" so that this child has a very high likelihood of completing post-secondary education, becoming a contributing member of society and serving as a role model for their peers in their community.
If you have not yet had an opportunity to make a donation to the cause, please do so at trails.akaraisin.com/VANCESTOCK.
The show was kicked off by my 19-year-old daughter, Logan, and her long-time friend and university roommate, Jessica [joined by Jessica's brother, Jacob, on guitar on the 2nd song of their 3 song set]. I could not be more proud of the 3 of them. The compliments that Susan and I and Bob and Nadine received over the course of the evening, in relation to both their talent and confidence, were all that parents could ask for.
Jesse Gold is an aspiring singer songwriter who completed his first year at the Berkeley School of Music in Boston. He and his band mate, TJ, played a 4 song set of original material. I hope the day will come, sooner than later, when those of you present to hear Jesse's set will be able to say, "I remember when…." Please check out Jesse's music at Facebook.com/jessegoldmusic or YouTube.com/jessegoldmusic and please try to see him perform around town this year as he pursues his dream.
Mark Kroos is, simply put, amazing. He put on a spell binding performance that had the audience mesmerized, enchanted and mystified. Mark was in the midst of a two-month tour and went out of his way, facing the rigorous scrutiny of Canadian border officials, to make his one and only appearance in Canada at the show. Those of us present to hear him play were very fortunate indeed. Please visit his website at markkroos.com and if your travels happen to intersect with his remaining tour dates, please check him out again.
Last, but certainly not least, was Pretzel Logic. They were, in a word, TIGHT. This incredible array of Toronto based studio musicians [11 in total] performed fantastic renditions of the music of Steely Dan. I heard, for more than one source, that they play this music better than Steely Dan [certainly now and perhaps ever]. Please visit their website at pretzellogic.ca. Moreover, please support them as they play around town [typically, the last Thursday night in every month at the Orbit Room on College Street and elsewhere in the GTA].
Vance H. Cooper
390 Bay Street, Suite 200
Toronto, ON M5H 2B1
Direct Line: 647-777-4011
Founder of Vancestock
Please donate at trails.akaraisin.com/VANCESTOCK
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