Event pays tribute to old friend

Adrienne Mercer planned to grow old with her best friend Meesha Grubisic. Ruby Rae’s Rawk ‘n’ Swap takes place on May 24.

Meesha Grubisic stands with her daughter Ruby. Meesha passed away in February after she was hit by a truck. An event

Meesha Grubisic stands with her daughter Ruby. Meesha passed away in February after she was hit by a truck. An event

Adrienne Mercer planned to grow old with her best friend Meesha Grubisic.

They went to university together, hosted a radio show and worked on the student paper.

But all that was cut short this past February when Grubisic was struck and killed by a truck.

It’s hard to even fathom that even though she’s been gone since February,” Mercer said. “Losing her was completely devastating and I know that I will keep her with me forever. I am so sad that we won’t grow old together but our friendship was one of those friendships that was so strong that it will never be lost.”

To honour her friend of two decades, Mercer, along with her husband, have decided to organize a fundraiser to help form an education fund for Grubisic’s daughter, Ruby.

The event, Ruby Rae’s Rawk ‘n’ Swap happens on Saturday (May 24) at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 10, 129 Harewood Rd., and will feature music from  several longtime friends of Grubisic.

Among the performs include Eric Morten and Shane Sparks of The Love Guns, Mercer, who is in The Fences of Fairview, and Michael Breen, a member of both The Fences of Fairview and Moths & Locusts.

“We thought, well, since we know a bunch of people who perform in the community and we have this opportunity to put something together, why not bring people together and have a really fun event that feels like something she would go to and at the same time if we can raise money and put it towards Ruby’s education, then all the better.”

Mercer said the event honours Grubisic’s love for music and thrifting.

“We really tried to combine things that she liked in putting it together,” Mercer said.

“I can just picture her at something like this. I can’t bring her back but I am so happy to be part of this effort for Ruby and because of my efforts I have reconnected with so many people that I used to know back in school and back when Ruby and I first met.”

Mercer explained that they hope to raise $50,000 for Grubisic’s daughter’s education fund by the end of June.

“Obviously we can’t bring Meesha back and we can’t make things right … but if we can cushion this blow for her then that’s a good thing,” Mercer said. “It would be wonderful to meet it so that money isn’t something Ruby has to worry about. It was so important to Meesha that Ruby receive an education.”

Mercer and Grubisic met 22 years ago and remained close friends, right up until Grubisic’s death.

Mercer recalled Grubisic as loyal and dear friend.

“She was such a force for good in the world. She took everything head on and she was such an achiever and if you had her as your friend then you knew you were going to be OK,” Mercer recalled. “She would do anything for her friend.”

When Mercer and Grubisic attended the University of Victoria together in the early 1990s, they hosted a radio program called Monster Truck, which focused on indie-rock and alternative country music at the campus radio station, CFUB.

“We did a show for four years together,” she said. “We were in almost every class together. We worked together at the student newspaper at University of Victoria and we socialized together.”

Since Mercer began organizing Ruby Rae’s Rawk ‘n’ Swap, she has been able to reconnect with old friends.

“One of the really nice things about organizing this event is a lot of the people that we know in Nanaimo didn’t know her [Meesha] or only met her once or twice through my husband and I … but regardless of whether they knew her or not they felt a connection,” Mercer said. “People have just been unbelievable in supporting us. We could have had double the bands playing because people were so interested in it.”

The event will also feature a silent auction and includes a wide range of prizes, including hair salon and music store gift certificates. Mercer said the support has been huge.

Mercer said that Grubisic’s memory will never be forgotten and that she is honoured to have been her friend for two decades.

“I will carry her for the rest of my life.”

Ruby Rae’s Rawk ‘n’ Swap takes place on May 24. For more information and to donate, please visit www.youcaring.com.