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Rock for Steve concert raises $860 to regain local photographer’s stolen livelihood

Krystine Therriault | Fulcrum Contributor

Photo by Alex Smyth

A crowd of supporters gathered at Café Dekcuf on Sept. 21 to “rock” for Steve Gerecke, a well-known local photographer who had his van, customized wheelchair, and most of his photography equipment stolen last month.

Most people could not imagine what they would do in such a situation, which is why many felt so strongly about the theft. As a freelance photographer, Gerecke relies on those belongings for his livelihood.

“My van was like an office,” Gerecke said in an interview after the show. “Once it was stolen, it affected my mobility, and my chair was an extension of that.”

CTV anchor Kimothy Walker was a big help in making Gerecke’s public, which initiated a frenzy of Facebook activity and garnered some more supporters. Patrick Dion, a businessman from Ottawa, opened the “Fund for Steve Gerecke” through Scotiabank.

Also helpful was Peter Roumeliotis, Rock for Steve’s organizer and a friend of Gerecke’s. The two kept in touch after meeting at a bullying awareness event. After Roumeliotis heard about the robbery on the news, he was disgusted by what had happened and sprang to action to support the cause.

“If it weren’t for these people, I probably would have crawled under a rock and not said anything,” Gerecke admitted.

He had to take a piece of advice that he’d told others before: “This isn’t about just you; sometimes you need to allow people to help you so they can feel like they’re doing something.”

Roumeliotis booked Café Dekcuf and found several local bands who were happy to participate. Rydell, Port Manteau, The Second Silverado, Tanner Kettles, and Randy Frobel all performed at the show Sept. 21.

“I’m pretty sure that I speak for all of us when I say when we first heard about what happened to Steve, we were floored,” said Braden Sabourin, guitarist for The Second Silverado and a University of Ottawa student.

“I could not imagine how difficult and discouraging it would be if all of a sudden the tools with which I made my living and created my art were stolen from me,” he said. “We felt very proud to be able to help Steve by spreading the word and bringing in some donations to put towards the cause. We are all about the music, the good vibes that it puts out, and to couple that with such a great cause; it’s tough to ask for much more.”

The show was a clear example of artists binding together and supporting each other. An energized atmosphere and talented local bands (along with two unexpected Taylor Swift covers thrown in the mix) made it a great night for a great cause.

Gerecke called it a “bizarre twist” to be the benefactor of such an event, when he’s usually the one who covers them. The event raised a total of $860.
As a man who has always had to fight the odds for his art, Gerecke sees this as just another struggle to overcome, and has found the support very encouraging.

Donations can be made to the “Fund for Steve Gerecke” at any Scotiabank branch in Canada or by email money transfers to