Jackson concert raises cash for Penticton food bank

Tom Jackson has changed the name of his winter concert tour over the years, but the thought behind it has remained constant for two decades.

Singer Tom Jackson is performing Dec.10 in Cleland Theatre

Singer Tom Jackson is performing Dec.10 in Cleland Theatre

Tom Jackson has changed the name of his winter concert tour a few times over the years, but the thought behind it has remained constant for more than two decades.

Like its predecessors, ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime is about lending a hand to the less fortunate in the communities he visits. Originally the Huron Carol Christmas Concert and then Singing for Supper, the proceeds from Jackson’s annual winter tour support community service agencies in the communities he visits.

Jackson will be singing at Cleland Theatre in Penticton on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. It’s not the first time he’s performed here — his 2009 concert raised over $8,000, split evenly between the Salvation Army Food Bank and the Soupateria, as will be the proceeds from tonight’s concert. Unlike many benefit concerts, where a portion of the proceeds go to charity, Jackson relies on sponsors to cover the costs of the production, allowing him to pass on all the money from ticket and CD sales.

What began as a single concert fundraiser for Winnipeg Harvest in 1988 has evolved to an annual cross-country tour, with over 525 concerts in the last 20 years. That amounts to $200 million in value supporting food banks, community service agencies and disaster relief.

Local organizer Andrina Iliffe said she was lucky to be able to organize a return visit.

“Whenever Tom does a show in a community, it’s always well-attended. And people always want him back to do another show because he does raise money for those in need,” said Iliffe. “He loves to use his talent for the benefit of others.”

However, she continued, Penticton and the community response played a big part in drawing Jackson back to the South Okanagan.

“In 2009, the whole team said Penticton is such a wonderful place, we’d love to come back and do another concert. None of the team had been here before,” said Iliffe. “And Tom was overwhelmed with the response to the 2009 concert.”

Tickets for the Dec. 10 show are $25, cash only, and are available at the Wine Country Visitor Centre. Non-perishable food donations will be accepted at the concert and shared 50/50 between the Salvation Army Food Bank and Soupateria. For more information, call 250-493-4055 or 1-800-663-5052.