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Friends, Veterans and help for those in need

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Sometimes an opportunity comes along and when you start, you're not quite sure where things will end up. In mid-October, we had friends coming into Saskatoon to perform their beautiful play about a World War II veteran and we got this idea to support their work and in turn, support the important work of an agency who serves veterans today.

Our friend, Julia Mackey, is the writer and actor behind Jake's Gift. Along with her partner and director Dirk van Stralen, Julia has been performing Jake's Gift across our country and overseas for the past ten years. When we learned that our friends would be in Saskatoon in October, we wanted to be involved somehow.

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Jake's Gift is a multi-award winning Canadian play about a World War II veteran's reluctant return to Normandy, France, for the 60th Anniversary of the D-Day landings. While revisiting the shores of Juno beach, Jake encounters Isabelle, a precocious 10-year-old from the local village. Isabelle's inquisitive nature and charm challenge the old soldier to confront some long-ignored ghosts – most notably the war-time death of his eldest brother, Chester, a once promising young musician. At its heart, Jake's Gift is about the legacy of remembrance and makes personal the story behind one soldier's grave.

Home Instead Senior Care has served many veterans over the years and has a deep appreciation for Jake’s Gift. We want to encourage more people to see this amazing piece of theatre and support local veterans. 

At Persephone Theatre in October, we offered to make a donation to an organization serving veterans: $5.00 for every ticket for Jake's Gift, purchased over the run of the show and using a special code: Home Instead. 437 People used the code so it was our privilege to donate $2185.00 to VETS Canada, an amazing organization which is committed to helping homeless and at-risk veterans reintegrate into civilian life. They match veterans with available resources to give them a new start. We enjoyed visiting with Julio and Doug who volunteer with VETS Canada in Saskatoon. Truly an honor.

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Do take a look at the website: and support them as you are able. One of their initiatives puts the healing power of music in the hands of heroes. Guitars for Vets match guitar instructors with veterans with PTSD or other disabilities who want to learn to play the guitar.


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