Banding together for a great cause

London’s music community banded together for a musical fundraiser at Call the Office Friday, Nov. 3, to raise money in support of a local shopkeeper close to their hearts and rehearsal spaces. Rajaie ‘Roger’ El Shorafa was brutally beaten outside his store, Horton Variety Oct. 21, just steps away from City Centre Storage, where several London bands rehearse.

Roger El Shorafa
A huge lineup of local bands raised money for local shopkeeper Roger El Shorafa as he recovers in hospital. Photo: Ed Phin

A total of $7,450 was raised through the concert, organized by Traumahawk member Jesse MacCabe. The money will go towards El Shorafa and his family to cover their expenses as Roger recovers in hospital.

Fast response

The idea for the benefit concert was first floated on Facebook by MacCabe, who issued a call for fellow London musicians and local businesses to offer their support.

A few hours and 127 shares later, musicians, vendors and Call the Office had come forward. A benefit concert, paired with a raffle draw was born to raise money for Roger and his family.

This event came together because of a horrific event, however, the London community rallied together to show this is a city full of love. Everyone who was a part of the event shared the sentiment that this was an amazing cause.

MacCabe said that the response to the benefit concert from the beginning had been heartwarming and was quick to give his wife, Dana, credit for being an integral part to the night’s success.

Shows of support

The event itself had MacCabe running around making sure everything was running smoothly. However, he pointed out that during the moments he got to himself, he could not help but have a huge smile seeing all the support and love that was going around for Roger and the El Shorafa family.

Sparring Partner
Several local bands, including Sparring Partner (above) took part in the Nov. 3 fundraising concert. Photo: Ed Phin

The concert had a diverse line-up of local musicians including Aaron Allen+Archie Gamble, Twin-Fin, Sparring Partner, Traumahawk, DYER and Snacks?. Most of these musicians have known Roger for years and many of them shared heartfelt stories of him.

The energy surrounding the event was extremely positive, everybody dug deep into their hearts and their pockets for a good cause.

Positive energy

“The night was electric,” MacCabe said. “People had a great time and a lot of money was raised, thanks to the donations and of course all the awesome raffle packages we put together thanks to the cities amazing generosity.”

The night ended with Snacks? performing a song inspired by Roger’s humour and kindness called That’s it?. It’s Roger’s regular sign off when musicians hit Horton Variety for snacks. It was a beautiful sentiment and a fantastic way to end the night.

If you want to support Roger and his family you can support them through a gofundme page set up by Shelby’s Food Express in support of the El Shorafa family. Currently they have raised $12,745 with 220 supporters in 15 days, exceeding their goal of $10,000.

Photos by Ed Phin


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