Nova Scotia

Family wants to win Rankin guitar for injured man

A Nova Scotia family coping with a tragic car accident pulled together in an unusual way — they entered a contest to win a guitar signed by a well-known Cape Breton musician.
Robin Varner, left, was seriously injured in a car crash last month. (Kelly Yeats)
A Nova Scotia family coping with a tragic car accident pulled together in an unusual way — they entered a contest to win a guitar signed by a well-known Cape Breton musician. 

Kelly Yeats, of East Dalhousie, said her nephew, Robin Varner, was seriously injured in a car crash four weeks ago.

"His friend was knocked unconscious, and Robin suffered a broken back. He pulled himself from the accident to the nearest house that he could find to get help," Yeats said.

While Varner recovered in hospital, the family came across a Facebook contest to win a signed guitar from Jimmy Rankin. The best story wins, based on the number of votes received.

Varner loves to play the guitar, so his family decided to win him a new one, and they were amazed how quickly they received over 700 votes, about 10 away from first place. The contest closes New Years Eve.

Kelly Yeats is hoping she can win a guitar signed by Jimmy Rankin for her nephew. (CBC)

"Just so many people got involved with it. People who had known Robin as a child, or friends of friends," Yeats said.

 "We've actually even had people who barely know any of us offer guitars for him. They've contacted family members and said, 'Hey, if it's a matter of a guitar, I have one.' But for us it's more about knowing that so many people helped do this."

Jimmy Rankin said he was surprised at the response to his contest.

"I've been reading the stories and stuff. It's actually pretty amazing, it's sort of snowballed into this," he said from his home in Mabou.

For Yeats and her family, the best prize of all will be seeing her nephew on his way to a full recovery. There's only a five year age difference between Varner and Yeats.

"We grew up like brother and sister when we were a lot younger," she said.