The sounds of Nova Scotia rang true at the Central United Church in Lunenburg last month when the Men of the Deeps and Lunenburg County vocalist, 11-year-old Breton Hayden, performed in concert to a full house. The concert was presented by the Rotary Club of Lunenburg.
“If you want a true Nova Scotia experience, Men of the Deeps are it,” said Paula MacKinnon, treasurer of the Rotary Club of Lunenburg. “It was a wonderful night. It was absolutely, incredibly special they came here and the tremendous support of the community in terms of sponsorship and buying tickets. We had a large number of local sponsors,” added MacKinnon. About 350 to 400 tickets were sold for the concert.
The concert, which was a major fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Lunenburg, is an event they try to do on an annual basis. “We try to bring in music and performers who will be an interest to the community,” said MacKinnon. “Sometimes, it’s a matter of finding the right talent and finding the right time.”
MacKinnon said the Rotary Club of Lunenburg also “really liked the idea of featuring someone local. One of the community events that we support is the Lunenburg Music Festival, and Breton actually won our trophy last year in the festival, so we had a connection with her and thought it would be really nice for her to sing a couple of numbers as part of the concert,” said MacKinnon. “What we envisioned was she would sing two songs before Men of the Deeps, but Men of the Deeps were incredibly gracious and invited her to sing with them. It was really, really special for us to see her sing with them.” She said, noting Breton is named after Cape Breton. “She stole many people’s hearts, that’s for sure.”
The Rotary Club of Lunenburg supports numerous charities both locally and internationally. “We have basically three avenues of service,” said MacKinnon. As part of the Rotary International network, the Rotary Club of Lunenburg supports several projects including the eradication of poliomyelitis (polio), supporting a village in Laos, Asia, to ensure clean drinking water and supporting schools in underdeveloped countries.
MacKinnon said the club also has a vocational avenue of service that relates mostly to providing support to schools. “Here we support Bayview and Bluenose Academy, providing funds for discretionary use within the school, so if teachers and principles identify students with particular needs, we have funds to support them.” Such funds could be used toward the purchase of eyeglasses or prescriptions. MacKinnon said the Rotary Club of Lunenburg has also partnered with the Rotary Club of Bridgewater to provide dictionaries to students in the area. The club also supports such groups as Hinchinbrook Farm in Blockhouse, the Health Services Foundation, Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia and Harbour View Haven.
The Rotary Club of Lunenburg does some other fundraisers throughout the year, including a monthly flea market at the Lunenburg Community Centre. The flea markets are usually held the first Saturday of each month during fall and winter.