Big Country, bigger cause

Cloverdale concert featuring Aaron Pritchett, Dallas Smith and more, aims to raise $200,000 for cancer fight.

Aaron Pritchett.

Cloverdale’s Millennium Amphitheatre plays centre stage to the Country music universe Saturday when Twins Cancer Fundraising presents Gone Country – Here for the Cure.

Langley’s own Aaron Pritchett (“Hold My Beer” and “Light it Up,”) headlines, along with Dallas Smith, Karen Lee Batten and Steel Toe Boots, along with other performers.

It’s the 7th annual cancer fundraiser presented by brothers Chris and Jamie Ruscheinski, twins who’ve put the word fun into the “fundraiser” concept over the years. Langley-based brothers (photo at left by Blush Photography at have raised more than $500,000, relying on their extensive network of friends and supporters to keep costs low and to raise as much money as possible at their events.

“We started this 12 years ago when we lost our mother to breast cancer, after a three year, painful battle, and since then we’ve lost some friends and family,” Chris Ruscheinski says. “This is definitely in memory of our mom.”

The massive July 27 concert is expected to draw a crowd of 5,000, and the twins are hoping to raise $200,000.

This year’s proceeds are in support of the Easter Seals House and the Shaun G. Foundation.

Easter Seals House offers families from across B.C. a place to stay while their children are undergoing medical treatment in Vancouver.

The facility is showing signs of age; and while eight of the 49 suites have been renovated, the twins are hoping to raise enough cash to update two common rooms, two playrooms and two of the bedrooms, using volunteer contractors.

The Shaun G. Foundation was created in memory of their friend Shaun Gauthier, who lost a battle with a rare, fast-moving form of cancer.

They were the masterminds behind last year’s Christmas fundraiser “Sleighin’ Cancer” at The Henry Public House in Cloverdale (“Santas make an early visit to Cloverdale,” Nov. 9, 2012.)

The Gone Country concert runs from 4 to 11 p.m. at the Cloverdale Amphitheatre, at 176 Street and 64 Avenue. Tickets are available at

It’s for ages 19 and up.

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