Gala event in support of PTSD research runs this weekend

  • Jan. 20, 2016 3:42 p.m.

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 2016 National House Concert Series arrives in Red Deer on Jan. 23rd at the Sheraton Hotel.

Originally set for last November, the event had to be postponed until now because of illness.

But it’s all set for this weekend, she is happy to report.

“I’m doing good – ready to go, ready for January 23rd, ready to rock the stage and to make sure everybody has a good time,” she said.

Guests will enjoy dinner, performances by Williams, and an 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.

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.

Planetary Persuasion has teamed up with Williams to put together the gala series. The first was held last April in Innisfail.

More are scheduled for this year including Edmonton on March 5th, Medicine Hat on April 9th, then she has Winnipeg in August, Regina in September and Halifax in the fall as well.

Dates for May and June are also in the works.

“Everybody that comes to one of these events can’t say enough about it,” she said.

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.

Meanwhile, Williams is balancing all of this with her career as a country singer too.

She’ll be doing some touring in the United Kingdom this summer as well. “I think I’m gone for about three or four weeks.”

But this cause is never far from her thoughts.

She’s also been asked to host a new TV series called Calling All Angels, which will focus on issues of homelessness across Canada. “We are shooting the pilot in March,” she said. “We are going to go into cities across Canada and get an in-depth look and see what we can do to help the people in the streets to make changes to their lives.”

Williams also pointed out that 100% of the proceeds raised goes to the cause.

She 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.”

editor@reddeerexpress.com

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