When she was just a child, Heather Klazinga would sing four-part harmony with her dad George and the rest of her family while doing dishes.
Saturday night, she had a chance to sing for her dad as her bands, Painkiller Jane and Scotch Prophets headlined Jammin’ for George – a benefit for Wyoming Firefighter George Klazinga.
Klazinga has been an active volunteer in Wyoming for years as a firefighter, in his church and in the community for events such as Kylie’s Kause. But two years ago, he began feeling ill. For the past year he’s been in and out of the hospital as doctors try to figure out exactly what is wrong. Klazinga has been in hospital since September and doctors have finally been able to say he has two rare blood disorders which are affecting his auto-immune system.
Klazinga hasn’t been able to work for some time and his wife, Debbie, has tried to spend as much time as she can by Klazinga’s side. And that’s caused financial hardships.
So members of the Wyoming Fire Department put together a night of music and fun to help the family through the difficult patch. Heather Klazinga, George’s daughter, stepped up to the plate immediately to provide the entertainment with her bands and arranging for other friends to entertain also.
Saturday night, the Plympton-Wyoming Fairground’s building was full of family and friends. And George was there, via Skype. His friend, Hank Hoeksma, carried around an iPad with the Skype feed so Klazinga could see what was going on from his Sarnia hospital bed.
Heather played his two favourite songs, Seven Bridges Road and White Rabbit. “He’s so proud of me,” Heather told The Independent during a break in the music “I have people come up to me and say ‘your dad is so cute! He came up to me to say ‘that’s my daughter!’”
Heather says it has been “very, very difficult” to see her dad suffer but says the fundraiser has been an amazing experience. “It’s unbelievable,” she said as family and friends continued to pour through the doors. “There are no words to describe this.”
“Dad was always a big part of the community…this make you believe in paying it forward and it will come back to you.”