Shared from the 3/24/2017 Telegraph-Journal eEdition

Lip sync battle hits Saint John


Jeff and Heidi Sparks are getting ready for the first Lip Sync Battle for Muscular Dystrophy that will be held at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre Friday evening. PHOTO: ERIC ELLIOTT/TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL

SAINT JOHN • For the first time, Saint John will be hosting a lip sync battle in support of muscular dystrophy to be held Friday evening at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre.

The fundraiser is in support of Team Sparks which will donate the raised funds from the battle to the Saint John Walk for Muscular Dystrophy that will happen in the city this June.

After seeing the success of last year’s lip sync battle that was held in Halifax as a fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, organizer Jeff Sparks said he wanted to work to bring it to the Port City in 2017.

“We’ve done a lot of auctions and things in the past and we thought let’s try something new so we figured we’d give it a shot and we included a number of different community leaders [to] sing a few songs and have a little fun,”he said.

Performing at the battle will be several dignitaries from around Saint John, including Quispamsis Mayor Gary Clark, fire chief of Saint John Kevin Clifford, as well as group performances from members of the Saint John Riptide, Kennebecasis Regional Police Force and Saint John Regional Hospital.

Clark said that when Sparks approached him months ago he was a little nervous about lip syncing in front of other people but ultimately decided to join the battle.

“Somewhat, yes,”he said.“But again, I’m thinking of the cause and certainly wanting to help out with this first annual event.”

Clark said he is going to be performing the song “Celebration,” with his wife, sister and her husband and can’t wait to face off against other competitors in the battle.

Living with spinal muscular atrophy, Sparks lives most of his life confined to a wheelchair, relying on caregivers for support around the clock. Working for Muscular Dystrophy Canada as the National Director, Sparks said he enjoys the ability to make connections within the organization to get the information he needs to help make his life easier to live on a daily basis, making Friday’s event all the more special for him.

“It’s really important to me and my wife and my entire family,”he said.“We also have a lot of friends that are impacted by one of the disorders so it’s just a way for us to give back for some ways that we’ve received benefits in the past.”

The event will start at 7 p.m., with tickets open to the public. In addition to the listed performers, guest performances from the Drag Queens Deva Station and Rouge Fatale from Halifax will also be as part of the act on Friday night.

When asked what Sparks and his wife Heidi would perform, Sparks wasn’t willing to spill the details on their moment in the limelight.

“All I’m really going to say is it’s a surprise and all I’m going to say is that the two drag queens who are coming are not going to be the only ones who drag.”

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