Benefit concert planned for Codroy Valley Folk Festival damage

Brodie Thomas
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A can of gas, six bags of french fries, and a case of beer.
That was all thieves were rewarded with after they broke into the Codroy Valley Folk Festival Grounds in Upper Ferry on July 31.

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All that hard work jimmying open doors at the festival building is going to cost the volunteer committee upwards of $4,500.

"It's a breaking of the spirit is what it really is," said festival committee chair Patsy Brownrigg. "These grounds were built with blood, sweat and tears."

She said six doors were pried open with a crowbar.

It was the second break-in of the year. The grounds suffered a break-in just before the festival where another can of gas was stolen, but minimal damage was done in that case.

Corporal Mike Reidpath with the Port aux Basques RCMP said there has been an ongoing string of break-ins at sheds and garages in the Codroy Valley. He said the thieves are mainly looking for gas, but also taking other items of value.

Police are aware of about a dozen break-ins in recent weeks. They do have a number of leads they are following up on.

Once word of the folk festival grounds damage got out, it didn't take long for folks in the valley to come to the rescue. Gordon Cormier saw the bad news on Facebook and got the ball rolling on a benefit concert right away.

Cormier usually works the sound for the festival but was working away this summer. He had set up his sound gear for the festival, leaving it in charge of another sound technician.

"I had set up everything the week before because everything is so secure there," said Cormier.

After the festival, the gear was packed up and left in the building, but luckily was not touched during the break-in.

He said as soon as he floated the idea of a benefit, others jumped on board. The benefit is now planned for Aug. 30 at the Silver Sands Restaurant. The evening will begin at 9:30 with local entertainment, followed by the Breeze Band, featuring Cormier, Hockey Gale, Dion Devoe and Walter Devoe.

Cormier is pretty sure valley residents will turn out in droves for an event such as this.

"If we can get the damages taken care of, hopefully we can get some security equipment to deter this from happening again," he said.

Cormier is convinced that the minority of people who cause trouble in the valley can never truly hurt the spirit of the community.

"Even though everybody is so pissed that this happened, this is the kind of thing that pulls people together."

 

Organizations: Silver Sands Restaurant

Geographic location: Codroy Valley

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