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St. James concert Sunday is a fundraiser for Haitian victims of Hurricane Irma

An afternoon of good company to the tunes of an international musician awaits you at St. James Lutheran in Elmira this Sunday, and all for a great cause.

The St. James Celebration of Music presents Swedish guitarist Celia Linde, who will be performing in a benefit concert to raise money for Hurricane Irma victims in Haiti.

Linde’s music reflects a number of influences, Latin American, classical and folk. Performing her own compositions in the mix, she has toured throughout Europe, the United States, Scandinavia, Turkey and Canada.

“We were really fortunate to be able to fit into a time space while she is on tour,” said Linda Snyder, coordinator of the concert support team at St. James.

Linde’s stop in Elmira is the ending to her 2017 Canadian tour, which will see her performing in Hamilton, Waterloo and Oakville throughout the week of November 19 leading up to her sixth and final show at St. James.

In the past, St. James has organized concerts with the proceeds going towards refugee programs and to address problems of drought and famine – this cause is in the same vein for the organization.

“We have  had concerts with donations to help refugees who are still in camps and also to address problems of drought and possible famine in Africa. This one, when we booked the concert and talked about purpose, the results of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean were very disturbing ,” she explained.

“We found that the Lutheran World Federation has been involved in Haiti for quite a number of years, so with its relationships in place it is a very good organization to funnel some funds to help victims of that particular hurricane.”

The category 5 hurricane in the late summer was recorded as the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever, outside the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It forced the evacuation of more than a million people, and resulted in the deaths of 27 across the region. There remain 17,000 people displaced by the flooding and devastation still in need of immediate shelter. While the performance will ultimately be in benefit of those affected by the hurricane in Haiti, funds will be given through the Canadian Lutheran World Relief.

The concert is also an opportunity for the congregation to encourage attendance at the welcoming building.

“St.  James Lutheran Church in Elmira for about the past year and a half has been working on opening a building to the community at large and particularly to welcome the community in to  enjoy music in our beautiful sanctuary that has fantastic acoustics,” she said. “We have found that we can use the concerts as a fundraising activity for the social purposes of churches or for our church to be special.”

The concert is this Sunday (November 26) at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and seniors, but free for children and students, there will be refreshments at the intermission with chocolate sales by the St. James youth group.

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