By Perry Lefko
A benefit concert at Brampton’s St. Mary Elementary School raised about $7,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto, and provided the unveiling of a new super group featuring members from two ‘80s bands.
The event, McBowl 80s Halloween Bash featuring A Flock Of Seagulls with special guests The Spoons, took place on October 28 in the school’s auditorium. It happened because of Brampton resident Ed Sousa, who holds an annual Ronald McDonald House McBowl event at Mississauga’s Classic Bowl, which he manages. The first benefit happened in 2016 and raised $22,000. Sousa licensed the campaign for bowling centres throughout Canada in 2017 and it raised $100,000. Sousa now has plans to extend it into the U.S.
Earlier this year Sousa was approached at Classic Bowl by a St. Mary teacher, Rob Poli, who told him about a family that has done some volunteer work for the school. Sadly, the family’s child, who was born with a birth defect, died after only four months. During the entire time the child was hospitalized, the mother stayed at Ronald McDonald House.
After hearing about the child and the mother, Sousa decided to see if he could organize a benefit to honour the family and bring awareness to Ronald McDonald House.
“It brought the charity and the people that benefit from the charity together,” Sousa said. “It worked out really, really well. The principal said he was the hit of the school board now. The possibility exists that we may do it again.”
A crowd of 350 people packed the gymnasium to see the two ‘80s bands. Sousa is a longtime friend of Seagulls’ lead singer Mike Score, and Gord Deppe, lead singer of The Spoons.
Never in the history of the Seagulls, which had hit songs in the 80s with I Ran, Wishing and Space Age Love Song, had it played in the Flower City, nor had it ever played in an elementary school.
After The Spoons played the opening set, a break followed after which A Flock Of Seagulls took to the stage with Deppe a member of the group. He and Score met last year at a charity benefit at Classic Bowl. Score played his hit songs with The Spoons backing him up. That led to Score and Deppe becoming friends and the decision to create a new super group. Deppe will still play with The Spoons, but will accompany A Flock Of Seagulls on international shows and tours.
Deppe made it clear to fans that joining the Seagulls is just another avenue to pursue his musical career internationally. He will still play gigs with The Spoons.
The Halloween event saw people dressed in a variety of costumes, including one woman who wore her hair identical to the cascading look Score featured in the ‘80s. She became known as Michelle Score.
“She was literally speechless having an opportunity to meet her idol,” Sousa said.