Cancer research gains nearly $35k from SFU band event
Almost $35,000 were raised for the BC Cancer Foundation at the Pipe Up for Cancer and Balding For Boney event put on by the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band where a whole lot of art was played and a whole lot of hair was lost, all in honour of band-member Andrew Bonar.
After a 90-minute concert at the SFU Theatre in Burnaby, British Columbia, virtually the entire band went under the electric clippers to have their heads shorn by bandmates while additional contributions came in from around the world from viewers of the livestream broadcast of the event.
Bonar received a ceremonial big cheque for $32,500 made out to the BC Cancer Foundation, and was surprised when presented with a portrait of him painted by former band-member Robert Mathieson. At the concert, Bonar’s daughter, Kate, performed along with the Heather Jolley Highland Dancers, to Pipe-Sergeant Jack Lee’s accompaniment. Bonar made an emotional speech, thanking all, paying particular thanks to his wife, Jeanette.
Former SFU piper Skye Richendrfer emceed the concert and hair-razing post-concert event. A sold-out ticketed ceilidh followed the entire affair and went into the night. Richendrfer played with Bonar in Abbotsford Legion, his first band in the late-1970s.
“It was so wonderful to see friends and supporters of SFU and Andrew Bonar specifically, coming together to celebrate this way,” Richendrfer said. “What a meaningful and thoughtful response and such genuine outpouring of support for Andrew and his family. One for the ages!”
Andrew Bonar has been a member of SFU since the early-1980s, and is one of the world’s most accomplished solo pipers, with his many awards including the Silver Medal at the Northern Meeting in 2010. He was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer last year and has been undergoing treatment since shortly after the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships, at which he competed with SFU.
Bonar wrote a moving account of his ordeal for pipes|drums in November of last year.
The band previewed some material that it plans to perform at its Pre-World’s Concert in August in Glasgow.
Nonprofit pipes|drums Magazine made a contribution of $250 to the cause.