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The Once support Burin native battling cancer

Gordie Power is pictured with his cousin, Geraldine Hollett of The Once. The picture was taken March 5, 2014 in Lloydminster, Alta.
Gordie Power is pictured with his cousin, Geraldine Hollett of The Once. The picture was taken March 5, 2014 in Lloydminster, Alta. - Contributed

Family connection between Gordie Power and lead vocalist Geraldine Hollett

MARYSTOWN, N.L. — Newfoundland recording artists The Once will be holding a special concert/ CD release in aid of Gordie Power at Club Beau Bois in Marystown on Saturday, July 28.

Power, originally from Burin but now making his home in Lloydminster, Alta., is battling cancer.

Kathy Sheppard, Power’s sister, spoke with The Southern Gazette about her brother and the upcoming fundraiser.

“It is for my brother Gordie Power, who was diagnosed at 43 with stage four lung cancer and we just want to really help him financially because the medication are expensive,” she said.

Sheppard said Power had been sick for a while before being diagnosed.

“He can’t talk,” she said. “His voice is like someone with bronchitis, so he was treated for bronchitis for four months until he got complications and they further explored it and they found out that he had stage four lung cancer, so it’s been going on over five months with the diagnosis of cancer.”

She added that because of the progression of the disease, treatment is the only option.

Sheppard said one of the fundraisers being held is the July 28 concert featuring The Once, the band fronted by Sheppard’s cousin Geraldine Hollett.

“We were always close with that family cause Geraldine is our first cousin,” said Sheppard. “I found a picture on Facebook of her and Gordie and I sent it to her, and then she’s like, ‘How’s he doing, how is everyone?’ I told her I was doing some fundraising and she’s like, ‘Let’s do a concert, let’s see if The Once will come out.’”

Sheppard said her bother has always had a big heart, and due to the illness he is unable to work.

“We just feel like it is something that we can do for him, just to help,” she said.

In a message to The Southern Gazette from Hollett via social media regarding the event she wrote, “I knew they were doing a few events to gather money quickly. I asked the band, they jumped on board and now it’s happening. It’s gonna be a time, it’s gonna be glorious and it’s going to be full of love for Gordie. I honestly hate the circumstance but can’t wait to raise money for him so he doesn’t have to worry about it for a while."

Sheppard said the community is coming together to help support her brother.

“OK Tire just gave us a $500 voucher for their (business) to do as a door price…Gordie used to work for (the owners) when they owned Ultramar,” she explained.

Memories

One of Sheppard’s favorite stories to tell involves Power, her sister Velma Peake and Hollett.

“When we lived out on Path’s End, there’s a (place) called Turtles Island,” she started. “Velma Peake, my sister, and Geraldine are very close.

“Gordie took them out to Turtles Island, rowed them out one day.”

Once her sister and Hollett had gotten out of the boat to look around, Power rowed away, leaving them there for a short period of time.

“So away way he rows back out after a time and got them, but before they got in (the boat) he bashed the water so hard (with the oar) and just got them soaking wet for the ride back into land,” she said. “It was hilarious.”

Tickets

Tickets for the concert can be purchased at the Marystown Hotel and Convention Centre, Burin Pharmacy or by visiting https://theonce.yapsody.com/event/index/270661/the-once-one-night-only

colin.farrell@southerngazette.ca

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