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'Singing Valentines' a joy for Bluewater Chordsmen

“We just really enjoy bringing joy to people through singing”
Members of the Bluewater Chordsmen are preparing for the their annual ‘Singing Valentines’ for charity. Pictured are (back row, from left): Joe Lobsinger, Scott Ritchie, Mark Wighton. Front row (from left): Roy Kennedy, Paul Greaves and Dale Werner.

Members of the Bluewater Chordsmen are once again looking forward to bringing some smiles — and surprises — to local lovebirds this Feb. 14 with their ‘Singing Valentines’ for charity.

“We just really enjoy bringing joy to people through singing,” said Dave Crosbie, who helps organize the annual fundraiser that sends a quartet, or more, out to serenade a special someone at their loved one’s request.

In fact, the Singing Valentines — delivered with two songs, flowers, a personalized message and card — have been growing in popularity in the last couple of years.

“Last year, we did 23 in one day,” said Crosbie, who fields calls leading up to Feb. 14 and coordinates times and locations for the singers. “Once they get out and about, I usually get even more phone calls.”

Most requests are for local homes and businesses — but they’ve been everywhere from schools, to long-term care homes, and beauty salons.

“If someone knows their sweetheart is going to get their nails done — we’ll set it up to go and surprise them,” he said.

“Some people send them as a bit of a joke, but a lot of people send us with very much a lot of sincerity.

“We’ve had people in total tears, just overwhelmed,” he added. “We get a real sense of satisfaction helping our community through our charitable donations.”

Money raised from the Singing Valentines goes to charity and all stays local, Crosbie said. While the group hasn’t decided who will benefit this year, they’ve donated in the past to Pathways Health Centre for Children, the Inn of the Good Shepherd, St. Joseph’s Hospice, the Bluewater Health Foundation, Salvation Army and others.

The fundraiser began back in the early 1990s, Crosbie explained, but fizzled out over the years. They revived it in the mid-2000s, but took another break during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s currently about 18 members of the Bluewater Chordsmen — an all-male acappella singing group — down from about 33 prior to the pandemic. The group meets every Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at All Saints Anglican Church in Sarnia and is always looking for new members.

“We brought the Singing Valentines back the last two years, and people really seem to like it. I think because they’re looking for something different, something unique," Crosbie added.

And over the years, he recalled, they’ve certainly had their share of memorable moments.

“A few years ago, we were sent to a home where four couples were gathered for a beach-themed euchre party,” he said with a laugh. “And last year, the guys were sent to Lambton College. A student gave us the time and room number and we sang to his girlfriend right there in her class.

“Some do get a bit embarrassed,” he added. “But we find that it really makes people feel good, like, ‘I’ve just had something special done for me.’”

And of course, they’ve had some milestone moments as well.

“We had one guy call and set it up for a local restaurant,” Crosbie explained. “So they went, they sang, gave her the rose and card… and then after the second song, he proposed to her.”

“She accepted of course.”

Details: Anyone looking to book a Singing Valentine with the Bluewater Chordsmen can call Dave at 226-402-3060. Cost is $45 for a single city delivery and $75 for a county or group delivery. Each Singing Valentine comes with two songs, a rose, and card with a personalized message.