The 7th annual Highlands Christmas Shindig included Victoria Bingham as Penelope, left, Mike Jaycock as Dame Beatrice and Peter Jaycock as Sir Cedric, who were part of a group of skilled performers for the variety entertainment show on Nov. 28. Due to COVID-19, this year’s show was broadcasted virtually and helped to raise $41,500 for Fuel for Warmth, which helps to alleviate heating challenges during the winter. Photo submitted by Betty Mills.

Thousands more added to Shindig totals for Fuel for Warmth

By Darren Lum

Days after the stage lights went out and the performers went home following the Highlands Virtual Shindig 2020, thousands of dollars has since been added to the $41,500 initially raised from the annual fundraiser, bringing the total to $57,000 for Fuel for Warmth.

More is likely to be added, as donations will continue to be accepted through Fuel for Warmth (, an organization that assists residents in need with securing resources for heating their homes.

Mike Jaycock, aka Dame Beatrice, wrote in an email that he was overwhelmed by the responses, not only to the virtual performance, “but to the sense of need that people have taken to their hearts. I think the growing total is a recognition by people that there is, and will be, a real need to help people this winter.”

He continues, “The pandemic has created tremendous hardships for many people and, I think, we are all well aware that there will be a greater need this winter. The kindness and support that people, businesses and local organizations have demonstrated for this virtual event, and for many other causes in the Highlands, is proof of the goodness that exists in our communities. Donations have come from both here in the Highlands and from around the province … some from far beyond our borders. It’s impossible not to feel humbled at this response.”

Jaycock, who has spent a lifetime working in broadcast media, said he’s never been part of such an effort before and will never forget this experience.

“The Shindig production team took on something the likes of which have not been attempted in this region. People in the broadcast industry have told me that they were very impressed at our accomplishment and we are delighted that it has had such a large impact. The wonderful talent and our special guests (Rick Mercer, Red Green, Ron James, MP Jamie Schmale) enabled us to put on a very entertaining show and do good at the same time,” he wrote.

A high definition, edited version of the 7th annual Shindig show is available to view on YouTube ( or at the Fuel for Warmth ( website thanks to Tammy Rae.

“The months of planning and development by the team were well rewarded on hearing of both the result and that people really enjoyed the show. In my life, this will go down as one of the most unique undertakings I ever been a part of. I have a good feeling in my heart,” Jaycock wrote.