The region’s big cancer fundraising concert will be gone after next summer.
Langley’s Twins Cancer Fundraising (TCF) will host its last “Gone Country” event in 2024.
“I have some happy and some sad news for everyone who follows along with our adventure,” st by Chris Ruscheinski posted on the TCF Facebook page.
“Gone Country #10 next summer will be the last one.”
Chris and his twin brother Jamie Ruscheinski, Langley residents, started TCF several years ago to raise money for cancer-related causes after their mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999.
After starting with backyard fundriasers, the twins eventually began hosting an outdoor concert on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds with all money raised going to charity.
Chris said the decision to cancel Gone Country was “extremely tough,”noting the twins wanted to tell everyone why they decided to end the wildly successful event. In 2022, the concert raised a record $842,000.
He cited several reasons for the big change, but mostly that they are getting older and they wanted to go out on top before the event began to lose steam. He also said his team is also loaded down with family, business, and other commitments.
“We want to go out with a bang, with a lasting memory of an event that never fizzled out and went out on our own accord,” Chris explained. “Our attendance and total raised have grown every year, and it’s scary to think that this event might one day be less exciting.”
With the exit of Gone Country, an entry point opens on a new era for TCF and the twins’ fundraising efforts.
“Most of all, we want to create something new again!” Chris said. “We want to get back to our roots, start with something small, and grow it again!”
He and Jamie have already been coming up with ideas for a new fundraiser for 2025 – something that will be smaller in scale, but “more intimate” than their multi-thousand person production on the Bill Reid Amphitheatre.
“TCF is not finished,” he added. “We are just making some changes so we can keep going.”
Chris also offered thanks to the “TCF Family” for all the support through the years.
“We never expected to have the friendships from this group that we have,” he said.
“I’m talking about the 25 hardcore volunteers who spend their year planning an event that brings us all together and raises a hell of a lot of money.”
He said no volunteer has ever asked for plaudits either, or tried to divert attention onto a personal goal or cause.
“They do it because they have lost someone close to them to cancer. They do it to teach their children about sacrifice, dedication, and helping people. They do it because they are kind and generous and will look back at the last 10 years and smile, knowing they helped so many.”
Chris said “every ounce of energy” he and brother Jamie exerted toward the cause was given back twofold. He said they both owe a big part of the success of their careers to their efforts to raise money for charity.
“There will never be words to say thank you for supporting us through all of this. But we will damn sure try by making Gone Country #10 the biggest and best ever.
“Thank you for always supporting us idiots and our fight against cancer,” Chris concluded. “We have some big things in store for GC #10 and can’t wait to release tickets at the end of the month!”
Recently, Gone Country received the country event of the year award at the BC Country Music Association’s annual awards night. The award was prsented to Chris and Jamie Ruscheinski (Twins Cancer Fundraising) and fellow Langleyite Karen Lee Batten (KLB Entertainment), the latter accepting the award on behalf of the twins and the 300-plus volunteers, plus all the fans who make Gone Country possible.
Also on tap for Twins Cancer Fundraising is an event Thursday, Nov. 23.
It’s the return of Rad Santa to Potter’s Christmas Store.
They offer pet photos between 4 and 5 p.m., then St. Nick poses for photos with families from 5 to 8 p.m. Photos are by donation with every penny going to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice once again.