Leo Grayson, and his wife Jill, have been organising musical fundraisers for more than three years, but when gatherings were limited and social distancing enforced, the pair had to adapt if they were to continue their fundraising efforts.
Since 2018, the retired couple has hosted musical themed gatherings out of their beautiful Park Ridge home, inviting friends and family to come sing-along to the tunes of the day, enjoy a Morning Tea or Dinner, and raise much needed funds for worthy causes.
Leo was motivated to do this after hearing of the devastating drought that was plaguing much of regional NSW.
He thought if he could invite friends together to enjoy a meal and some music around the piano, that everyone could chip-in what they could and raise money for organisations such as Drought Aid and Buy a Bale.
Since then, Leo and Jill have put on numerous events to raise thousands for charities linked to floods, bushfires, cancer, and homelessness.
Things were turned upside down, like we all know, in March when the government orders came in - lockdown, isolate, social-distance.
Realising that inviting 25+ friends into their home was impossible, the couple decided they would embrace technology and continue their efforts online.
Last month, Leo sent out an email encouraging friends to join him in donating toward winter homelessness, and as an afterthought, included a video with him in front of the piano – hoping to establish a sort of virtual music trivia.
The rules were simple, he would play 10 ‘golden oldies’ tunes, with a hint, and supporters would reply to the email with how many songs they knew in the hope of winning some small prizes.
What shocked Leo was the amount of interest and discussion this generated.
During lockdown many people have struggled with a break in routine and not seeing loved ones – what Leo saw was a chance for people to have fun, a laugh, and stay connected.
Although many are struggling, supporters continue raising funds and were grateful the music was back.
In October, Leo will be raising money for mental health support, which is timely during mental health month, and the music theme? Elvis, the King!
To enter Leo’s October Music Quiz - Elvis the King:
- Watch the Video and write down the names of the songs Leo plays
- Make a donation to beyondblue.org.au or lifeline.org.au
- Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
Prize winners will be chosen at random from those who have all titles correct.