Craig Leach

According to the World Health Organization, as of Jan. 18, 2015, there have been nearly 22,000 reported cases of Ebola — with all but six occurring in West African nations. This outbreak, the most widespread Ebola epidemic in history, has claimed the lives of over 8,500 people since being officially declared in March 2014.

On the front lines is Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), an international, non-governmental organization that has sent 302 international staff to the embattled region in hopes of treating, monitoring and educating those affected by Ebola.

It was these dire revelations and the inspirational work of MSF that helped Alan Quarry and his business partner, Glen Drummond, come up with the idea for Stone Soup WR: A Benefit Concert in Support of Doctors Without Borders.

“This organization (MSF), and the people behind it, put themselves at risk every day to help others,” says Quarry. “I think a community effort, like Stone Soup, is the perfect way for Waterloo Region to step-up on the world stage.”

Named after the well-known folk tale, Stone Soup tells the story of a beleaguered traveller who comes to a village with nothing more than an empty pot. Being refused food, the traveller proceeds to fill the pot with river water and a stone and sets it over a fire. Curious villagers inquire into what the traveller is doing, to which they’re answered, “making stone soup” and all that is needed are a few ingredients to improve its flavour. Before long, the entire community has contributed resources into making a hearty soup that is then fed to the entire village, benefitting all.

“By coming together as a community, much like the parable, we too can make an incredible difference in the lives of many,” says Quarry.

Those coming together to add their own ingredients to the proverbial pot include several local entertainers, artists and businesses.

Hosted at THEMUSEUM, Stone Soup WR will feature musical performances by Safe As Houses, Fred Smith, Joni NehRita and The Beggar’s Banquet.

Food will be catered by Little Mushroom and will accompany drinks from Block 3, Innocente and Waterloo Brewing Co.

There will also be an exhibit, curated by artist and entrepreneur Jennifer Gough, who has chosen a few local artists to showcase their work. Photography submitted to FLASH WR will also be on display.

Attendees will be able to bid at a silent auction, featuring several one of-a-kind items, while local business have offered up over $3,500 in door prizes.

The money raised, through ticket sales and the silent auction, will go directly to Doctors Without Borders