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article imageWhat did Bill Clinton say in Vancouver?

By Yukio Strachan     Sep 19, 2012 in Politics
Vancouver - Two weeks after successfully stumping for President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, former President Bill Clinton did it again for a group that he knows a lot about, a group he was once a part of himself: children-at-risk.
For years, Sarah Ann McLachlan, a Canadian musician, singer and songwriter has regularly performed at events and fundraisers for the former president; but on Saturday night at the Voices in the Park concert, a fundraising event for McLachlan's School of Music in Vancouver's Stanley Park, he returned the favor.
McLachlan, known for her mezzo-soprano vocal range, told The Globe and Mail that a few months ago, over dinner at an event in Palm Springs, she told Clinton about her school – which offers free music programs for under-served and at-risk youth.
“He was very kind and said ‘well if there’s anything I can help with, you’ve been very good to me,’” McLachlan told the paper after a sound check at Stanley Park on Friday. “And I said ‘well ,’ before I could stop myself, ‘can you come to my event? And be part of that?’ And he said yes.”
The star-studded event — the first ticketed concert to take place at Brockton Point — was an all-day festival-style gathering with a line-up that also featured Bryan Adams, Jann Arden, Stevie Nicks and McLachlan herself,CBC News reported.
Clinton's abusive upbringing
Clinton, employing his charisma and gift for human connection, pointed to the importance music has played in his own life.
"It taught me discipline and creativity. It made me see the world in different ways. It made me understand things in different ways,” he said, according to The Vancouver Sun.
It was a world that Clinton could escape to as a small child living in a violent home. Bill’s stepfather Rodger Clinton was a violent alcoholic who was physically abusive. When Clinton was four or five, he remembered looking at a bullet hole in the wall every day, which resulted from his stepfather firing a gun over his mother Virginia’s head.
"I think it is very unlikely that I would have ever become President had I not been in school music (classes) from the time I was nine until the time I was 17," said Clinton, wearing a tan suit and light blue tie.
Clinton, who famously played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show during the 1992 presidential campaign, practiced the saxophone every day as a child.
According to one Clinton bio, each summer he attended a band camp in the Ozark Mountains. He also became a top saxophone player at his school and won first chair in the state band's saxophone section. Clinton even earned music scholarships that helped him afford college.
“You are literally, by contributing here, increasing the capacity of young Canadians to learn and grow, to live their dreams,” he told the crowd of about 11,000 which replied in return: “Obama!” and “Four more years!”
Clinton, who had delivered a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention on behalf of President Barack Obama's re-election less than two weeks before, made no mention of the November election in his four minute address.
Concert helped reach goal
According to CBC News, the event was a complete success.
McLachlan's school, which had provided free music education to 280 kids each week last school year, will increase its capacity to 350 students this school year. With the increase in capacity, comes the increase in expenses.
But because of the contributions from the concert, McLachlan says the concert raised enough money to cover the School of Music’s budget for an entire year.
With that goal reached, those who were able to make contributions can remember Clinton's words and know: “You are literally, by contributing here, increasing the capacity of young Canadians to learn and grow, to live their dreams.”
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