Country music star Jason Blaine returns to Pembroke, Ontario. for charity fundraising
PEMBROKE, ONT. –
Canadian country music star Jason Blaine has returned to his hometown of Pembroke, Ontario. Wednesday for its eighth annual charity golf tournament.
“It’s so nice to have these friends traveling from all over to come party and raise money for all these wonderful causes,” Blaine told CTV News Ottawa.
“From 2014 to 2021, we raised nearly $625,000,” says Rhodina Turner, one of the event organizers and executive director of BGC Pembroke.
Over 40 local organizations have benefited over the years from funds raised at Blaine events, with all money going to local programs.
“So because of COVID, we kind of had to back off, but we started the music program again this spring with step dancing,” says Turner, for kids in Pembroke interested in music and dance lessons . “So we’re going to be offering step dancing, back to guitar and piano, and it’s all free.”
“The Boys and Girls Club that we’ve been helping since day one,” Blaine remarks. “The Robbie Dean Centre, also a mental health crisis centre. This one in particular is close to my heart.”
Growing up in Pembroke, Blaine’s parents say they are proud of their son who made it a priority to never forget his roots despite now living in Nashville, Tennessee.
“That’s all he’s talked about since the day he started his music career,” says Blaine McEwen, Blaine’s father. “He said, dad, I want to come back and start this thing. And I didn’t know how big it was going to get, and it got really big and it’s really good.”
“It’s still his hometown and whenever people ask him, Pembroke is his hometown.”
The day typically consists of rounds of golf throughout the afternoon, followed by a concert by local and Canadian artists in the evening. However, heavy rain earlier in the week prevented many people from playing the flooded Pembroke Golf Club course.
St. Catherine’s country music star Tim Hicks was fine with the decision being made for him, remarking that it probably wasn’t his ability to play golf that prompted him.
“Well, I thought he probably lost my scorecard from 2015, so he forgot what a terrible golfer I am,” Hicks told CTV News. “But I’m always happy to come out and support such a great cause.”
Hicks says he commends Blaine for staying connected to his hometown of Pembroke.
“I’m proud of him,” Hicks said. “It’s easy to get carried away with the Nashville scene and because America is so big and so big and the music industry is so vast. But what I love about Jason is that ‘he never forgot where he came from.
Other performers at the event included David James, Elyse Saunders, Brian John Harwood, Ottawa duo Lemon Cash, Arnprior band Rivertown Saints and Smiths Falls native Landon Bedor.
Despite a busy schedule every time he gets home, Blaine’s mother, Cheryl, says he always finds time for his favorite activity in Pembroke.
“He likes to go on the Ottawa River,” McEwen says of his son. “The Ottawa River is always what he loves to have at least once while he’s home.”