Stompin' Tom raises money for Orillia charity
Stompin' Tom Connors poses with fan Rob Burgess who bought one of Connors' plywood stompin' boards for $11,000 at auction. The money is going to an Orillia charity. (Supplied photo)

Here's 15,000 new reasons why Canadians love Stompin' Tom Connors.

Who would have ever thought a bar manager yelling at Stompin' Tom 45 years ago to stop leaving holes in his stage would lead to helping feed the hungry?

Turning lemons into lemonade has always been the way this Canadian music legend has worked.

His solution was to put some plywood under where he stands on stage.

"I used to go through one a show," laughed Connors in an interview. "But with age I am not quite as viscious with them any more."

But the old troubadour can still leave a dent.

And late Friday, after his Canada Day performance at Casino Rama, Connors auctioned off his stompin board for $11,000 — topped off with $4,000 more in pledges from EMI Music Canada and Rocklands Entertainment to make it $15,000 to go the Orillia's Key Progam to help the homeless and mentally ill.

"I understand what it is like to go five days in a row without a meal," said Connors who will also play again tonight at Casino Rama.

The cause and the chance to own a piece of Canadian music history spurred Toronto native Rob Burgess to fly in from California to catch the Canada Day show and bid on the board.

He made it to the show with just ten minutes to spare but didn't go home or empty handed.

He posed for pictures with the writer and performer of such classics as The Hockey Song and Sudbury Saturday Night and says he will put the signed board with the hole in it thanks to Stompin's boot up at his Muskoka cottage in tribute to his late father Ken, who was a big Stompin' Tom Connors fan.