The life of Beverly MacPherson, including a love for music, will be celebrated later this month in her beloved Arisaig, Antigonish County.
A fundraising ceilidh and square dance will take center stage Saturday, Feb. 23, from 8 to 11 p.m., at the Arisaig Community Center.
Proceeds will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada through its Team in Training (TNT) initiative.
“It was a shock,” Stephanie MacPherson said of the suddenness of her mother’s death.
Beverly MacPherson, only 62, died within 72 hours of her cancer diagnosis.
“It was a way for me to deal with my grief,” Stephanie, who was living in New England, said of the decision to tackle a TNT half-marathon in San Francisco a short time after her mother’s passing.
TNT, the flagship fundraising program for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, is an endurance sports training program where volunteers train to complete a marathon, half marathon, cycle event, triathlon or hike adventure, while fundraising to support the fight against blood cancers.
Although her mother never received a definitive diagnosis of the type of cancer she had, Stephanie recalled doctors concluding it was “consistent with lymphoma.”
Approaching 10 years since her mother’s death, Stephanie decided to do something, once again, to remember her mother – someone beloved in her treasured Arisaig, where she grew up as one of nine children in the “tight knit” MacInnis family.
“I thought it was a perfect time,” Stephanie said of the celebration.
She is also in training to run another TNT half-marathon, which is set for June in Seattle.
“Living closer to home, it was great to have an opportunity to have a fundraiser in Arisaig,” Stephanie said of the chance to celebrate her mother’s life with family, friends and the community.
Although her family grew up in Upper South River, Antigonish County, Stephanie said her mother’s heart never strayed from Arisaig.
“It will be awesome to share stories and memories,” MacPherson said.
Describing it as a “special place,” she noted they would not have hosted the celebration, if it could not have taken place in Arisaig.
“I get goosebumps,” Stephanie said, when thinking of everyone coming together in the community her mother loved so much.
Along with her role as an organizer, Stephanie, who plays the fiddle, will contribute her music talents to the gathering.
The line-up of entertainers also includes John Pellerin, Colin Rankin and Marion Dewar.
“It is going to be a great celebration of her memory,” Stephanie said.
There will also be a cash bar and silent auction.
Items up for bid include an autographed Chicago Blackhawks’ stick from the 2019 Heritage Classic, along with framed photos of Sidney Crosby – with Team Canada – and Toronto Maple Leafs’ legend Wendell Clark.
There is also a one-night stay for two, including breakfast, at the Keltic Lodge in the Highlands in Ingonish.
Admission is $10 and the event is open to everyone 19-and-over.
For more information, or to make a silent auction item donation, contact Stephanie at email@example.com or 902-577-0557.