Friday, January 11, 2008

Musical friends happy to help with marathon fundraising effort

Musical friends happy to help with marathon fundraising effort
Sally Cole
The Guardian

When Lisa Deagle decided to join Canada's national Team Diabetes and run the Brazilian marathon this June she found herself in a dilemma.

How could she afford to raise $6,100 necessary to cover the costs of her fundraising effort, as well as the flight, meals, accommodations and team events?

Without giving it a second thought she picked up the telephone and called her brother, Elmer, a mandolin player for help.

“We started brainstorming, and he came up with the idea of organizing a concert for me. He has lots of connections in the music industry.

“So he started putting it together and getting everyone lined up,” says Deagle.

The end result is the Team Diabetes Celtic Music Night, which will take place at The Guild in Charlottetown on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.

The concert will feature performances by J.J. Chaisson, Kendra MacGillivray, Elmer Deagle, Emmanuelle LeBlanc, Anastasia Desroches, Colette Cheverie, Peter and Kevin Chaisson, Lisa and the Deagle Sisters and several other special guests.

Elmer Deagle says he’s happy to do his part.

“Lisa has been busy training for the marathon and trying to do fundraising, so it’s our way of helping her out. It’s a lot to take on, especially with her work schedule,”?he says.

Deagle, a registered nurse, works a month off and a month on at a First Nations reserve in northern Manitoba.

And she appreciates the support that she’s receiving.

“It’s awesome. Initially, it seemed like a lot of money to raise.

“But with help of my family and friends it looks like I’ll be able to do it,” says the East Baltic native.

MacGillivray is also pleased to support the cause.

“Elmer gave me a call one night, and I was only too happy to participate,” says the award-winning fiddler who has just finished recording her fourth CD, Love of the Isles, with him.

Benefits like this one are important, she says.

“From day one, I was encouraged to give back to the community. That’s why I like to participate as much as I can,” says MacGillivray, who plans to play an air, a traditional strathspey and some reels.

It’s all music to Lisa Deagle’s ears, who became inspired to run the marathon for several reasons.

“I’ve always wanted to run a marathon. My family has been affected by diabetes. My mother and my grandmother both had diabetes. And as a nurse, I’ve worked with people with diabetes.

“So when I heard about running a marathon with Team Diabetes, it all came together for me,” she says.

Leslie MacPhee, Team Diabetes co-ordinator, is impressed with her creativity.

“Lisa Deagle has thought outside the box about how she could raise money. She has chosen an event that will appeal to people she knows and has brought in other forces to help her,” says MacPhee, during a telephone interview.

At a glance

Training for a marathon

* Lisa Deagle runs five days a week. On Wednesday, for instance she ran 10 km.

* Normally she runs by herself but occasionally she gets together with some girls from work.

* Her biggest fear? Getting an injury before the run and not being able to follow through.

“I know that I can do it as long as I don’t get injured.”

* Deagle has been running on and off for the past two years. She started training seriously three months ago.

* Foods that give her energy include raisin bran, apple, banana, milk and eggs.

All-star Celtic team raises funds for diabetes

The Guardian

When you’re in need of raising funds for a cause, it pays to have a brilliant Celtic musician as an older brother who’s connected to some of the best names in Celtic music on P.E.I.

This is the truism that was brought to life last Friday night at The Guild in Charlottetown as Lisa Deagle and her older brother, well-known guitarist/

mandolin player/fiddler Elmer Deagle, put together one boombastic barn-burner night of Celtic music.

All for the cause of raising money for Lisa’s participation in the Brazilian marathon this June with Team Diabetes for the Canadian Diabetes Association, the show was a sell-out. And by its end, the high dollar figure raised for the cause was only exceeded by the height of spirits in the house.

Despite the poor weather that hovered about the Island that day, which actually kept a couple of performers from getting to the show, the turnout was spectacular. And it’s safe to say that all in attendance must have been quite proud that they made the trek out in the elements, as soon as they heard the beginning act that night.

Yep. They broke out the big guns first — J.J. Chaisson on fiddle, Kevin Chaisson on piano and Elmer Deagle on guitar and fiddle. They played a fiery opening 20-minute set that probably shook all the snow off the roof of The Guild.

Commencing with a slow air and then moving into a barrage of strathspeys and reels, complimented by the addition of young Summerside piper Harley Peters (playing Scottish Soldier and Amazing Grace), their set was thoroughly enjoyed by the appreciative crowd.

Colette Cheverie of The Celtic Ladies then took over the stage, with accompanist Jon Matthews on guitar, to perform several heartfelt tunes.

Through songs like Stan Rogers’ Tiny Fish for Japan, and Francis James Child’s Sweet William’s Ghost, Cheverie performed passionately, eyes perpetually closed, as her smooth voice echoed throughout the theatre.

Melvin Ford was the host of the night, and at the beginning of the second half, we were treated to a couple of vocal performances from him, including Fields of Athenrye and Leaving on a Jet Plane, which the crowd sang along with (particularly my Aunt Muriel sitting next to me . . .).

Up next on the bill was Emmanuelle LeBlanc of Vishten. The group has been touring the world for the past while and is up for two ECMA nominations in a few weeks.

With accompaniment from Elmer Deagle on guitar (who has also been a member of Vishten for about a year now), LeBlanc began with a lovely, sweeping, sliding tune on the tin whistle, written by Deagle.

Following it up with a couple of reels and a jig played on a higher whistle and then a bodhran performance (complete with some Acadian chair step dancing) as Deagle played some fantastic fiddle, their set was one of the most impressive of the night.

“Comb your hair, Elmer!” yelled an audience member at the shaggy-mopped Deagle, as he prepared the stage for the next act of the evening, his three sisters, Lisa, Donna and Rhonda.

“I haven’t combed it in five years,” he replied, as the audience hollered in laughter.

Singing songs such as I Told You So by Randy Travis and Goodbye is All We Have by Alison Krauss, the sisters sang in a pleasant blend of harmony and were given an encore for their performance.

Kendra MacGillivray was the much-anticipated final act of the night. And where the first act blew the snow off the roof, in her commanding fiddle power, accompanied by Kevin Chaisson on piano and Elmer Deagle on guitar, MacGillivray then proceeded to tear that roof off.

Cutting, cutting, cutting into the notes like a friggin’ Ginzu knife through honey dew melon, MacGillivray just ripped through a set of reels to begin (The Messer Medley), followed by a dreamy, beautiful air called Love of the Isles (the name of her new CD) and then finished off the tremendous set with a few raging reels, as rosin dust soared up in clouds above her head.

As if that wasn’t enough, we were all then treated to a magnificent finale of all the performers from the night up on stage, led by J.J., Elmer and Kendra on fiddle, complete with step-dancing and non-stop clapping and stomping from the fired-up crowd.

All in all, it was certainly one of the best Celtic music shows I’ve seen in a long time. And if you’re sad you missed it but would like to make a donation to Lisa Deagle’s Team Diabetes cause, check out

Also, special thanks to Ward MacDonald and my Aunt Muriel Jay, for the favour of saving a seat for me.

I have a correction from last week’s column: Battery Point’s album was released in July of 2007, not in the winter of 2007.

Next week: Let’s laugh the winter away, with the Off-Centre Comedy Festival at The Mack

At a glance

* What: Team Diabetes Celtic Night.

* Where: The Guild, Charlottetown.

* When: Last Friday, Jan. 18.

* Who: A group of some of the Island’s best Celtic entertainers.

* Why: To help Lisa Deagle raise $6,100 for Team Diabetes and the Canadian Diabetes Association.

1 comment:

cHaRiTy said...

Proud of my big sister Lisa!