WINDSOR, ONT. -- Nearly 2,000 concertgoers tuned into the S’Aints Sleighing Hunger concert from their living rooms this year — helping to raise $80,000 toward local food banks.

The annual holiday concert raised the funds through ticket and CD sales as well as music downloads and contributions from local sponsors.

“The fabled and long-standing generosity of our community may not surprise me much any longer, but its’ phenomenal degree certainly did astound me this year,” St. Clair College president Patti France said in a news release. “To set a fundraising record amid a pandemic with a concert that, by necessity, had to be staged remotely, is the most heart-warming ending imaginable for this COVID-era Christmas story.”

The $80,000 has been presented to representatives from the Windsor Essex Food Bank Association ($50,500), Chatham’s Outreach for Hunger ($25,000) and the two St. Clair College student food banks Student Representative Council-Windsor ($3,000) Thames Students Incorporated-Chatham ($1,500).

"Food banks and social assistance agencies such as those helped by the concert need support throughout the year, so I encourage all of the concert’s audience members to replicate that same Christmas spirit in the months to come,” France said.

Over the past 10 years, the S’Aints Sleighing Hunger concerts have raised $350,000 toward local organizations.

“For the past 10 years, we have been honoured to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves as a group of musicians. The opportunity to record, perform during the Christmas season and partner with St. Clair College has been both humbling, and extraordinary,” said The S’Aints founding member Jeff Burrows. “Although we missed celebrating our 10th anniversary live at our partner’s Caesars Windsor Colosseum, we managed to pull off a ‘virtual concert’ thanks to our friends at LiUna Local 625.”

The S’Aints are made up of local artists Jody Raffoul, Kelly Hoppe, Kelly Authier, David Cyrenne, Wes Buckley, Liz Robinson, Stephanie Baker, Martin Bak, and Jeff Burrows.

“On behalf of The S’Aints, we are proud to be part of such an outstanding community-driven donation towards our food banks in both Windsor/Essex and Chatham/Kent,” Burrows said.