Sault Ste. Marie lost a dedicated and talented man on April 12th of this year. Mike Case was known to thousands of people over the years for his dedication to music and a big player in the local entertainment scene, along with being one of the most outstanding teachers of music to the youth of the city.
Mike lost his battle with Cancer but those whose lives were touched by him are rallying behind an idea to honour his memory.
One of them is well known local broadcaster, Jeff McNeice, who called Mike his best friend, “Mike and I met when I moved my family here to the Soo back in 1988, when I began another leg of my radio career. I played music in several bands since back in 1973. It was a meeting at Arnill’s Music on Queen where I would begin a long term brother like relationship with Mr Case.”
An online movement is afoot to name or rename a local stage as the Mike Case Memorial Stage”
The petition originally targeted the Bellevue Band Shell, however that stage is already named in dedication. Other potential stages include the Bondar Pavilion stage or the Rotaryfest stage – where often the crowd at these venues would enjoy a concert of young people under the banner of the Mike Case Jr All-stars.
“Jeffrey, it’s about the kids.. They are the future!’ He lived by those words” McNeice told SaultOnline.com “When the children would gather and play for a ‘crowd’ in a certain ‘venue’, the kids not only beamed with pride and delight, so did Mike Case! He had the biggest grin..the performances fed him, even thru 6 plus years dealing with painful Cancer.”
McNeice along with Mike’s family, kids and friends are hopeful for some sort of memorial to commemorate his life and his love for music – the universal language.
“You see, Mike always told me, ‘I teach them so they can sing songs around the camp fire, on the stage, with family and friends! It was a very personal approach. He love the students to dress a certain way and learn how to ‘perform in front of the people, not just ‘recite!”
In 2009 Mike was inducted into the Northern Ontario Country Music Hall of Fame
“Case’s Music was built with his blood, sweat, and tears. With a reputation that is stellar Case’s has remained the go to place for anything musical in Sault Ste Marie for a long time running.” wrote friend Tammy Semande Haman to SaultOnline.com ,”He loved his calling & all the responsibilities that came with it. He devoted his life to his gift, MUSIC!”
McNeice remembers the final days leading up to his death, “We were joined at the hip in ‘harmony’ for nearly three decades right up to his passing on Sunday April 12th. I got to see him along with my wife Lydia, an hour before God took him to the Big Stage in Heaven. When Mike first developed Cancer, he discovered religion. As he puts it, ‘my Lord and Saviour’. He’d tell me when I’d say ‘Aren’t you scared, afraid?’ He’d say , ‘Jeffrey it’s up to my Lord, what time I have, when I go….”
The group have started a facebook page and petition to gather thoughts and Ideas to move the plan forward. You can Sign The Petition
You can visit the FaceBook Page Here