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Christopher Cross family starts Facebook group to bring music into homes of P.E.I. residents during coronavirus pandemic

Blake and Karlie, children of Malcolm and Kelly Pitre, have started a Facebook group to bring music into the homes of P.E.I. residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Blake and Karlie, children of Malcolm and Kelly Pitre, have started a Facebook group to bring music into the homes of P.E.I. residents during the coronavirus pandemic. - Contributed
CHRISTOPHER CROSS, P.E.I. —

For anyone who is looking for a distraction from the coronavirus, the Pitre family from Christopher Cross just might have the answer.

The founders of the social media group, Christopher Cross Requests, from two years ago have formed a new group, Christopher Cross Music At Home.

Christopher Cross Requests was established as a fundraiser for an area couple, Kim and Gary Beaton. The campaign ran for three weeks between Feb. 18 and March 11, 2018, and drew in 13,000 members. In the process, musicians, many of them from West Prince, recorded themselves performing more than 1,100 songs and uploaded them to the group's Facebook page.

There is no fundraiser connected to Christopher Cross Music At Home, but the premise is similar. Members of the group can request the entertainer of their choice to record a song and load it to the page. It’s left up to the singer to decide whether to participate.

The new page went live Monday morning and, in fewer than 24 hours it already had more than 1,100 members.

“You turn on social media and it was so scary for people,” Kelly Pitre said in explaining why she and her husband, Malcolm, decided to start up a new page. “Things were happening, and people needed a good distraction, I guess.”

She said some people had suggested to them that it might be a good time to get the group going again.

“This is just about entertainment for people while they are at home. It is really about keeping people together.”

She said people seem happy to have the Facebook group going.

“I think they are excited about the distraction.”

They talked it over during a trip to and from the IWK Children’s Hospital on Friday and, by Sunday, their 10-year-old daughter, Karlie, had rounded out the name of the new Christopher Cross group to include “Music at Home".

Blake, left, and Karlie Pitre start colouring a sign with the wording,
Blake, left, and Karlie Pitre start colouring a sign with the wording,

There is one key rule Malcolm wants all members to adhere to: He doesn’t want any jokes or song parodies about coronavirus to seep in, Kelly said. “He wants this to be a complete distraction from what’s going on.”

Colleen Parker, manager of the Rev. W.J. Phillips Residence in Alberton, was happy to hear the new group is up and running. She recalls that two years ago staff of the facility played the Christopher Cross Requests page on television and residents huddled around to enjoy the entertainment.

Now, with the facility closed to visitors, and volunteer entertainers unable to attend to play for the residents, she believes such a connection is needed even more than ever.

Kim Beaton is also delighted. The new group was established on her husband’s birthday. He’s now a resident of Maplewood Manor, and because of the coronavirus precautions, she cannot get in to visit him. She believes Christopher Cross Music at Home will attract many followers during the current directives around social distancing.

“I think it will give them some joy and get their minds off this virus. Music seems to bring the best out of people – happiness,” she said.

“This is just about entertainment for people while they are at home,” said Pitre, suggesting that maybe members would want to request a song and dedicate it to a parent in a seniors' home or to someone they can’t currently visit.

“It is really about keeping people together.”

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