Jamming for the Janeway; Musicians contribute to CD say thanks to hospital staff

Dave Cooper
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Dean Stairs walks hand-in-hand with is three-year-old son Gideon down the hallway to the playroom at the Janeway. Stairs is currently in the process of producing a CD as a fundraiser for the Janeway.

LEWISPORTE - In their three-year-old son Gideon's fight with cancer, Dean and Stevie Stairs have met some wonderful people who have been so kind to them, they feel a need to give something back.

Gideon's cancer treatment has seen him spending quite a bit of time at the Janeway Children's Hospital in St. John's. Dean Stairs cannot express enough the thanks he has for the wonderful doctors nurses and staff who have been caring for his son over the past year.

"In April, actually Friday the 13 of April, 2007, my son Gideon was diagnosed with cancer - they didn't know specifically what type at that time," explained Stairs. "Since then we have been into the Janeway, we have spent the best part of the last year there."

Stairs said it didn't take long for him to realize that the staff there are truly special people, each and every one of them.

"The more we were there the more I thought I need to be able to do something to help the nurses and doctors and staff, to help those who have been helping us."

Stairs, the owner and operator of Little Known Artist Studio in Lewisporte came up with a plan. After contacting some of the clients he has worked with through his studio Stairs decided to produce a CD "Hope in the Midst of a Storm" in aid of the Janeway.

"I contacted Paula Eddy of the Janeway Foundation and she was very supportive of the idea," said Stairs.

The CD will feature the talents of Irene Bridger and Ada Jenkins of Twillingate, Shauna Matthews of Gander and Dan Bursey, Terry Penney, Sarah Perry and Byron Welsh from Lewisporte. Welsh's daughter Jenna is also being treated at the Janeway for cancer.

"Byron came on later on because I use him most often as a back-up vocalist," explained Stairs. "I asked him to sing lead for one song, "Dance", I wanted to do it from a father's point of view so I thought he and I could do it as a duet."

Stairs said he didn't have to twist any arms to get the artists to come on-board.
"I think when it comes to something like this, everyone wants to be involved," he said. "Irene said 'I was hoping there was something I could do.' That was pretty much the sentiments of everyone."


Stairs is doing the production of the CD at his studio.

"There are various stages to the project, one is the production, one is manufacturing" said Stairs, "and with this particular project there is the sponsorship stage which is the stage we're in."

Stairs said the artists involved, along with him, see sponsorship of the CD as a real win-win for a business, corporation or individual.

"It is just really good corporate image," said Stairs. "Even if people don't like a particular style of music, everyone knows what the Janeway is and everybody knows how important they are.

Sponsorship will help with the costs associated with the production and and manufacturing allowing for all of the proceeds from the sale of the CDs to go directly to helping the children of the province through the Janeway.

Anyone wishing to help in the sponsorship of the CD is asked to contact Stairs at 535-0884 or 535-0745 or via e-mail at dean@littleknown.ca

The CD "Hope in the Midst of a Storm" is slated to be released later this month or early April.

Organizations: Janeway Children's Hospital, Janeway Foundation

Geographic location: LEWISPORTE, St. John's

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