Ladysmith Celebration of Light raises more than $4,000 for food bank

The Ladysmith Celebration of Light food bank fundraiser attracted another sold-out crowd this year and raised $4,673.

Celtic rock band Skellig performs during the Celebration of Light fundraiser Dec. 21 at the Ladysmith Eagles Hall. This year’s concert raised $4

Celtic rock band Skellig performs during the Celebration of Light fundraiser Dec. 21 at the Ladysmith Eagles Hall. This year’s concert raised $4

Once again, the Celebration of Light was a great success.

A Christmas fundraiser for the Ladysmith Food Bank organized by Skellig and the Rock Christian Fellowship and sponsored by local businesses, service clubs, individuals and churches, the concert was held Dec. 21 at the Eagles Hall.

This year, the Celebration of Light featured John Potts and the brass band playing carols and then performances by Erik Virtanen and Tasha Cyr, Rev Up and the Deadbeat Deacons, Kendall Patrick and the Headless Bettys, Jordan Burness and the Dirty Habits, The Dead Birds, Ryan McMahon, and Skellig.

This was the fourth Celebration of Light, and it attracted a sold-out crowd once again.

As of Dec. 29, the event — which received donations from the Ladysmith Eagles and from the Ladysmith Business Builders during the concert — has raised $4,673.89 for the Ladysmith Food Bank.

“I am really blown away by everyone who comes out every year and gives something to this,” said Skellig fiddle player Lisa Burness. “This town is amazing.”

Burness thanked the many people who helped make the Celebration of Light such a success.

“This event is not just down to me,” she said. “There’s a whole stack of people, and without these people, this would not happen. Just a very big thank you from Skellig and the Rock Christian Fellowship. We’re very appreciative to the community.”

Every year, the Ladysmith Eagles donate the use of the hall for free and also make a donation to the Celebration of Light, noted Burness.

Last year, the Celebration of Light applied for a grant from Starbucks, which donated $2,500, and the organizers will apply for a grant again this year, so that could bring this year’s fundraising total up even higher, explained Burness.

Skellig planned to also collect donations for the Ladysmith Food Bank during its New Year’s Eve performance at the Sportsman Pub.