High Fives 2 Help Lives Party Benefiting Skate4Cancer & Wellspring
Pheasant Plucker 20 Augusta Street

We’ve said before how incredible and supportive Hamilton’s online community is, and this event is another example of that. Founder of the non-for-profit organization High Fives 2 Help Lives, Steve Gillon, reached out to us over Twitter to let us know about a fundraiser party he was hosting to benefit Skate4Cancer and Wellspring. I had never met Steve before but had heard of his t-shirt business with Noel Villenueve, Try This on for Size and had seen High Fives on Twitter. The event was held in the hip Augusta neighbourhood, at Pheasant Plucker, and I was happy to check it out and support the cause.

I had never been to the upper level of Scottish pub Pheasant Plucker; the space is available to be rented for gatherings and events. I really liked the cozy feel to it; the colours were subdued – grey and green tones, with stone and brick walls, and, of course, plenty of plaid.

With Steve Gillon, founder of High Fives 2 Help Lives

Steve, a self-proclaimed Pro High-Fiver and Ph.D (Pretty Helpful Dude) began to host benefit events a few years ago, with this event being his 7th fundraiser to date. High Fives 2 Help Lives hosts fundraisers to benefit a variety of causes, including Movember Canada, Hamilton Health Sciences, and for this event, Skake4 Cancer’s Dream.Love.Cure initiative. Inspired by family members that he lost to illnesses, Steve wanted to make a difference and do his part to make a change. Since February 2011, High Fives has raised over five thousand dollars, and Steve is just getting started!

For this event, Steve and Noel used their TTOFS t-shirt business to design a limited run of t-shirts, using Skake4Cancer’s Dream.Love.Cure slogan, adding, of course, “High Five” to the list of positive declarations. Something as simple as a high five is a symbol of positivity, enthusiasm, and support, and fits well with Skate4Cancer’s project. At High Fives events, t-shirts are available for purchase, with $5 from each shirt sold going toward that specific charity.

The Howlers

Entertainment for the night was local musical duo The Howlers. They played a set of eclectic cover songs, and I thought of Avishka and how we always try to guess songs as they begin, whether it’s a cover band or a DJ. Songs that jumped out to me were The Beatles’ “Falling,” some Oasis (and who doesn’t still think of someone in particular when you hear the classic “Wonderwall”?), some Queens of the Stone Age, a thoughtful Levon Helm tribute, and Steve himself even got in on the action, joining the band on “My Hero” by Foo Fighters. The guys were a fun score to the party, which had a fantastic turnout, raising $720 for the cause and selling out the limited run of t-shirts.

We’re always inspired by people who are making positive changes in the City and beyond, and Steve is definitely one of those people. Keep a lookout for more High Fives events!

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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