Party in the Parking Lot raises $1,000 to fight muscular dystrophy

Matt Gardner
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Home décor retailer Price Breakers raised $1,000 for the fight against muscular dystrophy on Saturday at its second annual Party in the Parking Lot.

Organized primarily by manager Chelsea Reid, the day-long extravaganza offered visitors live entertainment and a diverse menu of food and refreshments.

All proceeds from the event, which was sponsored by Price Breakers and the Northern Lights Casino, went directly towards the non-profit organization Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

“The money’s used to fund research for muscular dystrophy -- to help out with … buying beds and equipment and stuff for people affected by it, and just (to) better the lives of people with muscular dystrophy,” Reid said.

Muscular dystrophy refers to a group of neuromuscular disorders that are characterized by a progressive weakening and wasting away of the voluntary muscles that control body movement.

Over a prolonged period, individuals with muscular dystrophy can gradually lose the ability to speak, walk and even breathe. For many, the disease will ultimately prove fatal -- a tragedy that Reid is all too familiar with.

A little over three years ago, she lost a close friend to muscular dystrophy.

“It was hard, because we were young,” she said. “We were friends all through high school … It’s (that) … live-hard-and-die-young kind of age, and you don’t really think it’s going to happen until it does.”

As time passed, the idea began to form in Reid’s mind of turning the sorrow she felt over her friend’s death into a way to help others.

“I guess the whole time I was friends with him and watching him slowly get worse with the disease and as it progressed on him, I always had it in my head, like, ‘Oh, I should do something for muscular dystrophy,’” she recalled.

“They would do these walks in Saskatoon and I always said, ‘Oh, I’ll get to it,’ and I just never did. When he passed away, it was kind of a kick in the pants I needed to do something.”

The rain slowed the crowd down. But everyone that did come out and all the performers and volunteers had an amazing time and can’t wait for next year. Chelsea Reid

Inspired by her friend’s love of music, Reid organized the first Party in the Parking Lot last year at Price Breakers.

The event proved very successful in terms of fundraising, raising over $2,000 and setting the bar high for 2013.

Ultimately, poor weather depressed attendance this year, with scattered downpours throughout the day discouraging visitors.

“The rain slowed the crowd down,” Reid acknowledged in an email sent on Sunday.

She added, “But everyone that did come out and all the performers and volunteers had an amazing time and can’t wait for next year.”

Saturday’s itinerary was technically broken into two separate events.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., a free event featured barbecue, cotton candy, a kid’s carnival and live entertainment from the Ashden School of Irish Dance, Teegan Boyer, Craig Adam, ShawBee, Constant Reminder and others.

Starting at 5:30 p.m., the day transitioned into a VIP event, with tickets costing $30 per person or a full table of four VIP tickets for $100.

Guests at the VIP event could enjoy meals from Lone Wolf Catering and Persia Bistro as they watched performances by Cheap Luxury, Resist to Conform, Phantom Radio, Andreea the Narrative, James & Co., LJ Tyson, East of Eden and more.

“It’s a free event during the day, so people can just come out and enjoy and if they’ve got some change in their pocket, they can give that or buy a burger,” Reid said.

“But mostly (it’s) just to support all the local bands and just have fun.”

Merchandise for the performers at Party in the Parking Lot is available at Price Breakers.

Organizations: Northern Lights Casino, Ashden School of Irish Dance, James Co.

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Eden

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