Jon Box Celebration of Life Raises Over $30,000, His Widow: "Remember That Time and Circumstance are Temporary"
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A concert and silent auction to celebrate the life of music industry veteran Jon Box raised more than $30,000 from tickets sales and a silent auction.
Box, who was vice-president of label partnerships and business development at Universal Music Canada, lost his battle with mental illness last September at the age of 45
“We are all fragile in some way and we all need some sort of support,” said his widow Heather Wright from the Opera House stage in Toronto Feb. 8. “So remember to be gentle and patient with one another and with yourselves.
“If I can ask you to take one thing away from tonight, it would be to remember that time and circumstance are temporary and ever-changing. Please don't let one thing define you. It's only a piece of you.”
Monies raised will be split between the Unison Benevolent Fund, which provides emergency relief and funds for members of the Canadian music industry; and Toronto-based Dr. Jay’s Children’s Grief Centre which provides support for young people experiencing loss.
“Everyone at Unison, your organization was valuable to Jon and he couldn't help to raise the funds themselves this year so I'm honoured to have been able to assist you in some way,” said Wright, adding, “and thank you so much for helping to coordinate and for managing a silent auction.”
Throughout his career, Box helped raise funds for various organizations, most recently MusiCounts, the music education arm of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS); the Gord Downie Fund at Sunnybrook Hospital; and Unison. He was once head of the philanthropic committee at Universal.
His death in September shook the tight-knit Canadian music industry hard. He left behind two young daughters, Amélie and Tallulah.
“To Dr Jay’s Children's Grief Fund, it was so important for me to include you tonight as my girls and I unfortunately discovered you through this devastating tragedy,” said Wright. “We have taken serious refuge through your services and it's heartbreaking you exist, but I'm so thankful that you do because you've saved us.”
Artists Sloan, The Dirty Nil, Whitehorse, Terra Lightfoot and July Talk all performed at the event, which was interspersed with memories and tributes to Box from his friends and associates.
“I feel honoured and spoiled to have such a solid network of people around me,” said Wright. “So to everyone in this room and to everyone who couldn't be here today, I am without words. Thank you so much.”
She then added works to her husband of 21 years. “Jon, I hope somehow you can enjoy this night and you're proud of how it turned out and what it's celebrating. We all love you so much. and we miss you terribly. I’m never going to forget you and what you gave us. We are so f**king lucky to have known you. You affected all of us with your passionate, wacky, yet gentle manner. And I'm going to make sure your girls remember who you were and what you stood for. You really left us far too soon. “
If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or are worried about a friend or loved one, reach out for free to Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566 (available 24/7) or text “start” to 45645 (4 p.m. to midnight ET).
* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.