News Release: The Cherry Trees Band has announced it will be playing a benefit Concert for Water in Africaat Hughs Room Live on Tuesday June 25th, 2024, show starts at 8:00, doors open at 7:00PM:

Tickets: To buy tickets and support this great cause, visit On Stage – Hugh’s Room Live (

Location: Hughs Room Live (new location)  296 Broadview Avenue, Toronto

They will be accompanied by talented musician friends from the Canadian music scene. HRL is one of Canada’s premier music venues having hosted some of Canada’s iconic musicians including Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Murray McLauchlan, Dan Hill, Buffy Sainte-Marie, The McGarrigles, and Sylvia Tyson. This concert will celebrate the conclusion of the “Matumaini” fundraising project. Please come and help us fund a full water well on this occasion.

 The Cherry Trees Band is (from left to right): Jay Couse, Terry O’Brien, Shardie Stevenson, Steve Mallory and Gary Gardner.

Our story started with a bar band called Dock Party which played gigs mostly in West Toronto. Made up of business people by day and rockers by night, Dock Party’s run ended in about 2013 when the band realized fame and stardom was not going to happen. Comprised of band members Stephen Mallory, Jay Couse, Jim MacMahon, Blair Tullis and Rick Sinisalo, several members decided subsequently to once again shine off the Stratocasters, but this time to raise money for charity. The Band was named The Cherry Trees Band (sounds like “Charity”), several members left and several others joined. A team of numerous business people, musicians, sponsors, donors and volunteers then rallied around the band, called itself “Team Change the World” (after the soon to be released first album) and five water wells in Africa were funded, supplying 5,000 people with fresh, clean, life changing water. “Change the World” was recorded in 2015 and the band hosted an album release party to a sold-out full house at Hughes Room, one of Canada’s finest music venues. The rest is history. Read on the learn more about our story.


To date, our team has raised close to $230,000 to fund the construction of 27 water wells…providing fresh life changing water for 27,000 people in Africa. We are fortunate to have received much media coverage, including having been profiled  twice in the Globe and Mail Report on Business (2018, and 2015), and on radio. Our sponsors and donors include private family foundations and some of Canada’s biggest companies.

We’re proud of the contributions by many people to the “Matumaini” Campaign which has been running since 2020, and which to date has provided hope for about 13,000 people in three African countries (Togo, Benign, Tanzania). There are still opportunities to contribute to this campaign before the official close of the campaign at the concert on June 25th, 2024 as mentioned above. Please join Team Matumaini, and help any way you can. All our funds go to support the Global Aid Network’s Water for Life Initiative (See About Global Aid Network below for link).


By way of quick background, our team comprises over 30 volunteering Canadians and many sponsors and donors. Following the past two successful campaigns, “Aqua” in 2018 (10 wells funded), and “Change the World” in 2015 (5 wells funded), our group launched the “Matumaini” project, our most ambitious campaign to date. We’ve recorded two record albums named after our previous campaigns, and our third record album, entitled “Matumaini”
(“Hope” in Swahili) is in the works, ready in 2024 (see album cover, shown both at the top and bottom of this site).

Our team has come together with a common goal to provide fresh, clean water for thousands of Africans. Our talented team consists of business people, suppliers, web host, graphic artist, publicist, social media experts, musicians, donors, and sponsors, and “The Cherry Trees Band” (which dedicates 100% of its efforts, recording receipts, appearances etc. to supporting charitable initiatives). This initiative is being supported in a number of ways… sponsorships from foundations, families and corporations, donations made by many people on our website, music  proceeds…all funds are directly supporting new water wells being drilled in African communities. These water wells provide fresh drinking water, hygienic improvements, social and economical benefits, among others. Our efforts help break the chain of poverty and malnutrition in many communities, and free up women and children for education and other worthwhile activities, currently women are often relegated to fetching water in dangerous conditions by day and night.

The Global Aid Network visited the Village of Malungo several years after it had drilled a new water well, please see the video below to view how this community has flourished.

The Need

As you may know, sadly 3.5 million people pass away annually from ingesting unclean water. To combat this issue, Team Aqua and Team Change the World started by raising and channeling all funds directly to the Water for Life Initiative managed by GAiN (The Global Aid Network). 100% of proceeds go directly to this cause. Just $8,500 builds one water well which supplies 1,000 needy people with fresh water for up to 25 years.

Please see the video below to view the benefits of providing fresh, clean water wells.

Track Record

We are very proud of our track record- in 2015 our “Change The World” campaign (with album of the same name) raised $42,500, building 5 wells and providing fresh water for more than 5,000 Africans.

In 2018, we doubled our previous goal, and raised $85,000, enough to fund 10 new wells and supply 10,000 people with fresh clean water.

Our current Matumaini project is currently funded to 12-13 wells (as at December 2023).

Our corporate sponsors are “who’s who” of Toronto business, including Barrick Gold, National Bank (Chan-Lee Wealth Management), Trisura Guarantee, Travelers Insurance, AIG Insurance, Farmers Mutual re, VIA Rail Canada, and many more organizations as you can see from the Sponsors banner below. Further, we are fortunate to have the support of Families and Foundations- also listed below in the Sponsors section.


The Cherry Trees two albums “Aqua” and “Change the World” can be heard on Spotify, Apple Music and on iTunes, and on our “The Cherry Trees Band” You Tube Channel. You can learn more about the Cherry Trees Band on Facebook.

About Global Aid Network/Women’s Issues/Charitable Status

The Global Aid Network (Water for Life Initiative) receives 100% of funds from donations and is a Canadian Government Registered Charity #:89024 0997 RR0001. A key focus of this initiative is improving lives of women. 

“Women and girls around the world face particular challenges, including access to sexual and reproductive health services. With Canada’s support to the work done by GAiN Canada, we continue to address many of those challenges, by helping to improve the health of women and children in rural areas of Benin and Togo.”


Thanks to our Sponsors

Our Great Sponsors and Significant Donors (2015-present)

SUPPLIER Sponsors (who have donated their services to this cause)

  • C7- Web Design, Build and Hosting- Consulting on Media
  • Hugh’s Room Live
  • Toccacelli & Associates- Strategy & PR
  • Klaus Uhlig at Design
  • Peacock Philanthropic Counsel- Strategy & Fund Raising counsel
  • Kyle Greiner- Media and Design
  • Graham Mallory, Lindsay Bodrug- Social Media
  • VIA Rail Canada

GOLD Sponsors (Full Well Donor or more)

  • Quebec Private Foundation
  • The Lloyd Family Charitable Fund
  • Derrick and Janet Lee, and RADIA Wealth & National Bank
  • Travelers Insurance Company
  • Trisura Insurance Company
  • Optimus SBR
  • Bruce and Sharon Chandler
  • Eric Rose and Family
  • George and Mary Turnbull Foundation
  • Barrick Gold

SILVER Sponsors (half a well)

  • Stouffville Based Family Charity
  • Mandeville Private Client Services and Partners who remain anonymous
  • Farm Mutual re
  • AIG American International Group

BRONZE Sponsors (quarter well)

  • Sedgewick Canada Inc.
  • Michelle Cowell and business associates
  • Bob Taylor
  • NRStor Inc
  • Compugen

OTHER significant Sponsors

  • Tokio Marine Canada
  • Trinity Underwriting Managers Ltd.
  • Neil and Maria McRuer
  • The New Zealand and Australian Lamb Co.
  • Andy Poprawa
  • Liberty International Insurance
  • Markel Insurance Company

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions were are often asked

Donate on this site by clicking on the donate button, or for larger donations contact us by clicking the contact button or reach out to [email protected]

Answer the Global Aid Network is a registered charity , for any donations over $25 you will receive a tax receipt. See About Global Aid Network.

Yes, a key focus of this initiative is improving lives of women. Many women spend their lives fetching contaminated water for their families. With a well, village women are freed up to pursue education, their own health, and other initiatives to support the well being of their families and people. See the quote from Federal Minister Bibeau in 2017, reflecting the support by the Government of Canada for this charity.

our funds go directly to the Global Aid Network who channels the money toward drilling wells in Africa. Donate directly on the Donate link on this page, or by reaching out to [email protected].

$8500 provides  a fully operational well in a village. This well supplies 1000 people with fresh clean Drinking water over the course of the well which is about 25 years.

For less than $10 you can support one person receiving clean water for 25 years. Donate using the button on this site.

Often, just 80 meters below their feet are aquifers of disease-free water. By providing one deep-water well, we can help break the cycle of poverty and death caused by contaminated water.

Our volunteers, donors and sponsors have raised enough for the Global Aid Network to drill 15 wells, and supply 15,000 people with water. With the Matumaini campaign, we are now aiming to raise funds for 20 more wells by 2023. When complete, our team will have raised funds to drill 35 wells, supplying 35,000 people with fresh, clean water.

See above for a link to their site.

on your behalf we direct the funds to the Global Aid Network. Donate on this site, or for donations over $2,000 please reach out to [email protected].

“Hope” in Swahili.

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