Benefit concert for the Hallidays

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
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Supporters line up to sign a banner saying “Bring Phillip Home” after a rally for the Digby man in November 2011.

The Halliday family support society wants to raise $250,000 for Phillip, Sheree, Cody, Daren and Tex.

"This is about helping a family in our community that we feel is going through an absolute nightmare and is being ruined financially," says society chair Peter Dickie.

The Hallidays have already racked up more than $90,000 in legal bills for Phillip's defence against drug trafficking charges in Spain and Sheree has recently put the family home up for sale.

[Related:Hallidays had eight hours together in Spain ]

The society hopes to help the Hallidays with their legal bills so they can keep the family home or at least be in a position to buy a new one when Phillip comes home.

The society has opened an account at the Scotiabank for donations and they are planning a series of fundraisers.

They've already planned a benefit concert for 7 p.m. on April 15 at the Digby Baptist Church. Performers include the Gaels of Fundy Pipes and Drums, the Fundy Coral, Brad Hewey, Douglas Hales, Peter Omerod, the Baptist choir, their mens choir, and their ensemble, Bonnie, Pete and Linda, Margo Nesbitt and Terry Farnsworth.

Sheree says it wasn't an easy decision to accept the help. After an earlier benefit where the people raised $13,000 for the family, she says she was scrutinized.

"I was up at Tim Horton's getting a coffee and the comment was made, why was I spending the benefit money up there."

He also declined because she felt there are people who need help more than she does.

But Dickie and Robertson returned and explained they just wanted to help.

Sheree says the way things are going they will be able to use the money.

They used donations from another account to pay for two-thirds of the family's trip to visit Phillip.

"There was an account left open after the benefit and when we decided we were going to Spain, friends started urging others to donate again and when we went to go there was $4,000 in there. It all went in in $15s and $20s but it all adds up."

The Hallidays recently fired their Spanish lawyer after he told the court Phillip was prepared to plead guilty.

They hired Kevin Burke of Halifax in January. He flew to Spain to talk to Phillip and introduce two Spanish lawyers, one of whom speaks English.

"That helped Phillip trust these new lawyers after the bad experience we had," says Sheree.

Sheree says the money could also come in handy when Phillip gets home.

"I'm going to need some time off when he comes home, just to be here for him," says Sheree. "I imagine I'll be taking him to see doctors in Halifax.

"And he's also going to need to be sheltered. People will kill him with kindness, they will."

For more information check out the Halliday family support society webpage.

[Related:Hallidays had eight hours together in Spain ]

Organizations: Scotiabank, Digby Baptist Church, Gaels of Fundy Pipes Tim Horton's Phillip trust

Geographic location: Spain, Halifax

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