Vankleek Hill drum teacher Will Laurin’s GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to buy drums for seniors has hit its target.

The drummer for Canadian blues legend JW Jones and popular rock band Rude Mood has been teaching live Zoom drum lessons directly to seniors in area residences, but the difficulty was providing instruments for them to play. With his online fundraiser having hit its goal of raising $2,000, Laurin has now purchased 30 drums he can leave at residences for the seniors to play.

“I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has supported this project because I honestly could not have done this without them.” Laurin said. “This allows me to expand the project if there are any other facilitators who are interested in doing this work.”

Laurin is set up for drum circles online with Heritage Lodge in Vankleek and has other contracts with Chartwell Retirement Residences. While even online sessions have been shut down over the past couple of months due to public health regulations, with the reduction of cases Laurin is able to now even hold live sessions with seniors outdoors.

“I just got the notification from Chartwell that they are opening up events again,” Laurin said. “What it’s looking like in the near future is the Zoom calls again and also in-person drum circles outdoors.”

Laurin has all kinds of percussion instruments he can bring to in-person sessions, but for seniors to learn online, residences need equipment to be on site. The gear had to be simple, easily sanitized and able to be stored without taking up much space.

To meet all of those needs Laurin found a simple solution, purchasing a product called Remo Rhythm Lid Skindeep Drumheads. Using synthetic skins and with a 3” wooden rim, they are designed to fit on most standard five, six and seven-gallon plastic pails.

An advantage to the new drums is they can also be used for in-person sessions. Laurin brought several to an outdoor drum circle at Heritage Lodge on Friday, June 11 – his first in-person session since last summer.

Laurin also offered a thank you to Remo and Bobby Lalonde Music in Hawkesbury for helping out with the project.