Norm and Vonnie Poisson (left) were presented with Horsefly's Citizens of the Year Award during the Horsefly Fall Fair last August by John Hollan (right).

Norm and Vonnie Poisson (left) were presented with Horsefly's Citizens of the Year Award during the Horsefly Fall Fair last August by John Hollan (right).

Horsefly hosts concert fundraiser Saturday with Saskia and Darrel

Horsefly residents support their 2016/17 Citizens of the Year by hosting a concert fundraiser on their behalf this weekend.

Vonnie and Norm Poisson were named Horsefly’s citizens of the year last summer.

Recently Norm has had treatment for throat cancer which required a visit to Vancouver for assessment followed by a three-month stay in Prince George for radiation treatment, says Mary Lou Morris who is organizing the concert with Faye Knox on behalf of the Horsefly Community Club.

In a few weeks Morris said Norm will also have to travel to Vancouver again for followup assessment.

“The cost to stay at the cancer clinic in Prince George was $106 a day,” Morris said. “When you are a pensioner and on a fixed income it is difficult.”

She said the community started fundraising for the couple by setting out donation cans in various locations. But then they thought why not host a concert to break up the winter and raise funds for the Poissons, who are always doing for others in the community.

From Vancouver Island Saskia and Darrel: The Great Plains will be in concert at the Horsefly Community Hall Saturday, March 4. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert runs from 7 to 9 p.m.

“This is a family-oriented event,” Morris said. “Saskia and Darrel play music, sing songs and tell stories.”

Saskia and Darrel have been developing audiences across Canada with their musical style described as a taste of Celtic, a dab of Bluegrass, country and some

toe tapping favourites. “Warning…there might be some yodelling,” their biography states.

She said Saskia and Darrel donate a portion of the ticket sales on a sliding scale to their host organization. If they sell more than 100 tickets, Morris said Saskia and Darrel will donate 40 per cent of the take to assist the Poissons.

Tickets are $15 each and available at Horsefly Hardware and Clarke’s General Store or by calling Faye Knox at 250-620-3462 or Mary Lou Morris at 250-620-3403.

Norm said he was surprised the community is holding a concert for them. “Everyone has done so much for us already,” Norm said, adding that since first purchasing their property in Horsefly back in 1979 then retiring there in 1980 he has always had a high regard for the people in Horsefly.

“I really, really appreciate the people of Horsefly,” Norm said. “I don’t know what we would have done without them.”

He said he required 35 radiation treatments during the three months they were staying at the residence attached to the cancer clinic in Prince George. He said he had a brother and a sister who died of throat cancer, so when he started showing symptoms, doctors moved quickly to have him assessed and treated.

The Poissons were named as Horsefly’s 2016/17 Citizens of the Year last fall for their volunteer work.

In addition to volunteering with the Horsefly Volunteer Fire Department and Horsefly school, the Poisson’s take care of recycling needs in Horsefly. They pick up, sort and bag bottles and cans which they take to Amanda Enterprises in Williams Lake to raise funds which are divided equally between the school and the fire department.

The couple also helps fellow community members with tasks that are difficult for them such as taking out the garbage, shovelling sidewalks, hauling firewood, and mowing the grass.

In winter they take it upon themselves to set up a skating rink either on Harper’s Lake, or by the Horsefly Community Hall. There is always a pair of skates available for any child that needs them and the hockey nets are set up.

Vonnie is also a longtime member of the Horsefly Women’s Institute.