As many cried about the traffic at the recent Taylor Swift concert in Winnipeg, Roxy Lacroix was shedding tears for a much different reason.
Lacroix and her boyfriend, Quentin Raval, were denied entry to the show at the gate when they found out the tickets they’d bought through Kijiji were invalid.
"I was devastated. I was so close and then my heart sank," Lacroix said.
As Lacroix sobbed into her boyfriend’s shoulder along came Raymond Bernier.
"I didn’t need to ask them what happened. I already had an idea," Bernier said.
He walked up to them and offered the couple a ticket. At first the couple refused. They couldn’t comprehend his generosity.
"I was so shocked. Nothing ever happened to me like this before," Lacroix said.
Bernier then offered the couple both the tickets he had.
"I insisted," he said.
They, in turn, insisted on giving Bernier $40. They snapped a quick picture, catching only his first name, and went in to enjoy the concert.
"It was such a roller-coaster of emotions," Lacroix said.
Bernier said he overcome with emotion after giving the tickets away.
"I was taken over by a sense of joy that I had never felt before," he said. "It was all I could do to not break down and ball my eyes out on the bus home."
Lacroix told her mother the story which prompted her to write an email detailing Bernier’s generosity. People began to share the story on Facebook. A few people who knew Bernier saw the story and made the connection.
The trio reunited for dinner and Bernier hopes to keep in touch.
Lacroix and Bernier both have roots in St. Vital. Lacroix’s father has worked in education in St. Vital for years and Bernier, 65, used to live in St. Vital and has lots of family in the area.
Bernier originally wanted to go to the concert to try to get a picture with Swift. Bernier first fell in love with Swift’s music when he lost his farm, moved into the city and began hearing her music on the radio.
He even got the chance to meet Swift when she was here at a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital, but he didn’t have a camera to capture the moment.
Now Bernier is doing his part to help the Children’s Hospital by holding a concert featuring guitarist Dana Starkell at his home on July 26. You can call Bernier at 204-797-7049 to get tickets for just $20.
Krystalle Ramlahkhan is a community correspondent for St. Vital. She can be reached at email@example.com.