Singer Jessie Tylre Williams is on a mission to spread the word about the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and to raise funds to help those affected by it.
Toward that end, the 2015 National House Concert Series arrives in Red Deer on Nov. 7th.
The event, which includes a dinner, performances by Williams, and appearance by the Red Deer Legion Pipe Band and special speakers, will be held at the Sheraton Hotel with doors opening at 5 p.m.
There will also be a silent auction, a charity photo booth and a 50/50 draw.
Tickets are $75 each and are available by calling 403-304-0123 or visiting www.jessie-williams.com.
“It feels so good to give back to those that risk their lives for our freedom every day,” she said.
“I feel so blessed to be able to use music as a way to connect with people and help them through their hardships with hopes that I can inspire others along the way.
“I’m confident that through these benefit galas we will be able to create a greater awareness, raise money for new programs and reach out to those who suffer from PTSD.
“That’s our primary focus – to gain a broader awareness of PTSD and how it affects men and women in service. And to raise funding for different programs across Canada to help them.”
As Williams points out, PTSD can affect anyone who has been subjected to any type of trauma.
“PTSD can affect anyone whether directly or when a family member or friend has been diagnosed with this disease.”
Planetary Persuasion has teamed up with Williams to put together the gala series.
The first was held this past April in Innisfail.
Following that event, Williams has taken the gala fundraiser to Medicine Hat and Winnipeg as well. More are scheduled for the New Year, including Edmonton in January, Calgary in February, then back to Innisfail next March and Medicine Hat in April. After those dates are wrapped up, the team plans to head east to Ontario.
“We are trying to do one a month.”
So far the feedback has been terrific.
“Everybody that comes to one of these events can’t say enough about it,” she said.
“We had the deputy mayor of Medicine Hat show up, and she was blown away. She also wants to be in the volunteer committee for the one we are doing there next April.”
Support has been shown from groups including Wounded Warriors Canada, Can Praxis, the Royal Canadian Legions, ANAVETS and the Tri-Service Military Association.
Williams also now has the help of Glenda Jacobs who serve as national events coordinator.
“It’s not like I’m just a singer showing up to sing at these events – I’ve been doing this from the ground up. And now I have Glenda beside me, taking the lead and helping to oversee everything. She has helped me exponentially.”
Meanwhile, Williams is balancing all of this with her career as a country singer too. She’ll be doing some touring in England next summer as well.
But this cause is never far from her thoughts.
Williams has also laid out specific goals for the fundraising campaign over the next few years, including targeting 30 towns and cities across Canada in 2016 while continuing to develop stages of planning for a PTSD facility in Central Canada.
Williams also pointed out that 100% of the proceeds raised goes to the cause. “I don’t take administration fees or a wage for performing.
“That’s my commitment.”
Williams said it’s fulfilling because she’s already seeing good things come from the work she and her team are doing.
“I see hope for people that had very little or no hope left,” she said.
She became interested a few years back in helping to support the cause after doing some extensive research of her own into PTSD and also seeing how difficult it was for those affected to get the help they need.
“I’m just being a voice for the people that don’t have one, or who can’t speak up because of their tragedies and battles they are dealing with. We must never stop believing.
“Where there is life there truly is hope. Music is such a powerful force and it can really heal and transform lives.”
Also for more about how to help support the silent auction, call Glenda Jacobs at 403-304-0123.
Again, more information about the galas can be found at www.jessie-williams.com.