42-year-old father of three, Donnie Robichaud was one of two civilians killed in the Fredericton mass shooting that also claimed the lives of two police officers on Aug. 10, 2018. Robichaud played bass, sang in some local Fredericton bands, and was active in Fredericton’s biker community.
The “Rock for Donnie” benefit, held for Robichaud’s three children, is the second fundraiser that was held in his honour to financially support his children. The first fundraiser featured a 50/50 draw and silent auction followed by a three-kilometre biker memorial ride. The ride was widely attended by the biker community, and held on the same day as the regimental funerals for the two police officers killed in the shooting.
The “Rock for Donnie” benefit took place on Oct. 13 from 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. in the Tribute Bar & Lounge at Klub Khrome. The event included 12 local bands playing in Donnie’s honour, and at 3:00 PM the band Vinyl Tap gave their best on-stage performance for their lost friend.
A young boy greeted those who attended by giving out bracelets, costing $10, for the benefit. This reinforced the notion that the fundraiser was not only to honour Robichaud’s passing, but to help provide care for his now fatherless children. As the benefit was open to children until 6:00 p.m., a few families with their children attended to show their support.
Individuals from all walks of life attended the benefit, including members of Fredericton’s biker community, beard and beard oil community, tattoo community, and the rock and metal scene. Many in attendance wore the benefit’s black and white “Rock for Donnie” t-shirts. While mingling in the crowd, you could hear those speaking who knew Robichaud well and others who did not, but still wished to show their support and listen to the music he cherished.
Between each band, men in biker jackets and “Rock for Donnie” t-shirts asked for $5 donations for the prize draws. Many sponsors contributed prizes to the event, including Los Cabos drumsticks, Yamaha Canada, D’Addario, Yorkville, Long & McQuade, Marshall Canada and Erikson Canada. The prizes consisted of an Epiphone Slash Les Paul guitar, a Yamaha electronic drum kit, and a Marshall Bluetooth speaker.
This event showed nothing but love and care from the community. While the event carried a somber undertone as many were mourning a close friend.