Nick Robertson and Bob Taylor had been friends for years. A prominent Cape Breton musician, Nick was the baritone sax player and owner of The Right Stuff, a 24 piece swing band. Bob was a dedicated Mason, well known and respected among Masons in the Cape Breton Centre District. Nick’s passion was music, Bob’s forte was accounting; both loved children. Nick hoped that his band could assist children in some way.
Nick made a quick visit to Bob’s home where they met in the driveway. He expressed his wish to Taylor and fifteen minutes later, the first Wish Winter Away Dance was in the planning stage. The band members were delighted, but they had two requests: they would only play for free, and they hoped that the local Children’s Wish Foundation volunteers would provide them a lunch after the dance.
It took less than five minutes for Taylor to sell the idea to Don Morrison, another Cape Breton Mason. Morrison agreed to act as Chairman of the dance steering committee, comprised of Masons, CWF volunteers, and Nick, representing The Right Stuff. In 2003, in failing health, Robertson handed over responsibility of the band to Kevin Strong, third trombone with the band. The band provided the music for eight dances and helped to raise $91,000 for the Nova Scotia Chapter. Other fund raisers were administered by the local Masons, including sales of donation tickets and grand prize draws.
Although the band was not rehearsing regularly, they were always ready and willing to play for the Children’s Wish Foundation, and with $100,000 in sight, interest increased. Band members wanted to surpass the $100,000 mark, but they also wanted to honour their founder, Nick, who had passed away in 2007. And so, on November 8th, 2008, The Right Stuff took the stage for the ninth Children’s Wish Foundation dance, the theme being the "100,000 Wishes Dance".
The final amount raised for the Nova Scotia Chapter of the Children’s Wish Foundation....$105,000!