The song goes, "While my guitar gently weeps," but there was very little weeping to be done when Courtenay Rotary Club donated 30 acoustic guitars to Arden Elementary students.

The students were invited to sing a few songs for the club, but at the end of their performance, the instruments were presented to the ecstatic and surprised kids.
Rotary's Rod Hunter said the donation was a way to repay an act of kindness by the students.

Weeks before, the kids had held a bake sale and raised about $600. They could have spent the money on purchasing new guitars for the school, but instead they gave the money to Rotary's ShelterBox fundraising initiative.

ShelterBox Canada is a Rotary organization that provides pre-packaged aid boxes containing basic equipment and tools for victims of disaster, such as a tent, a stove, cookware and other tools. They are currently being used in Haiti, a country still in ruins from a devastating earthquake more than a year ago.

In response to the children's big-hearted move, Hunter and his fellow Rotarians forked out for the guitars.

Their music teacher, Lucy Slater, shed a few tears of joy and said, "I'm overwhelmed by your generosity and I can't thank you enough."

The children echoed the sentiment.

"I was shocked that the Rotary donated the guitars," said Nicholas Knopp, 11. "I couldn't believe when they said that they were donating all 30!  That is so generous!  I have wanted to learn to play for a long time and I can't wait to get started."

"It is amazing to have the guitars from the rotary and we are blessed to have an inspiring music teacher that teaches us to express ourselves through music," said Kim Hesselink, 12. "I am excited to be able to learn how to sing and play the guitars together."