In the early nineties, Helva Peters often sang at conventions in the northeast and MASSFILC gatherings. At the time she had a very impressive voice and gave a moving interpretation to her own songs as well as songs by others. She can be heard on the Wail Songs tapes Shoot the Moon, The Programmer and the Elves, and Let’s Have a Filk Sing, as well as the CD set Balticon Tapes. Since then, various health issues have taken their toll on her, though she still sometimes comes to filksings.
Things have lately taken a more serious turn with her; she now has Stage IV cancer, and family sources are advancing her money for a trip to Tijuana, where she believes a treatment not available in the US will be more helpful to her. She’ll be piling up a lot of expenses and would like to be able to return at least some of that money.
At the same time, it would be a wonderful thing if more of her old recordings became better known to filkers. Her presence at early MASSFILC meetings was one of the things that kept me coming. We’re both fans of the Ron Perlman-Linda Hamilton TV show Beauty and the Beast, and her song “Vincent (Wells)” is a favorite of mine. Helva is her fannish name, taken from Anne McCaffrey’s The Ship Who Sang, and she’d often sing Cecilia Eng’s “Helva’s Song.”
To accomplish two things at once — raising some money for her medical expenses and making this happen — Helva and I are working on a crowdfunding project to produce a CD of her recordings. Harold Stein has been enthusiastic about the idea, and some other people have set out digging for recordings of her performances. The current plan is that I’ll run the campaign on her behalf. If you read my earlier post asking about raising money for another person, now you know the reason.
I’ve made a video of Helva talking about her situation and asking for support. It will be a while before the campaign is actually online, but I want to start building awareness now. If you have photos or recordings that might be usable, please let me know. If you might like to donate something as a premium, let me know. I’ll be throwing in some number of copies of Tomorrow’s Songs Today. The basic premium will, of course, be the CD. We expect to offer downloads through Bandcamp as well.
A lot is still fluid, but I can promise that everything after expenses, which we’ll keep minimal, will go to Helva. None of the other principals will be paid anything.