‘Kindness is King’: GoFundMe for evicted ‘Covid Elvis’ in Hamilton nearing its goal

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Published October 3, 2022 at 6:08 pm

Nearly $8,500 has been raised to help Cameron Michael Caton, Hamilton’s “Covid Elvis,” and his girlfriend Chantal Girard find a place to live after they were evicted just under three weeks ago.

Caton has been an Elvis Presley tribute performer for some 17 years, but since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has directing his channeling of The King into charity, using his music as a hook to encourage residents of the greater Hamilton area to donate food. At last count, Caton, whose social media is managed by Girard, has generated and donated almost 35,000 kg in non-perishable donations to local food banks.

On Sept. 14, though, Caton, Girard, her son and their two kittens had to leave his home in Hamilton after being served with an eviction notice by a man who said he was a bailiff. Caton and his neighbours, per a report on CHCH-TV, were initially told they had 60 days to move out because their landlord wanted to move his family into the building, but ended up having a lot less time than that.

The goal is set at $10,000. On Monday, as the GoFundMe stood at $8,475 from 78 donors, Caton penned a thank-you, thank-you-very-much message from the bottom of his heart.

“We just wanted to thank you all for you kindness as we navigate through the mess of our unlawful and heartless eviction,” Caton wrote. “Thing are underway legally. How long that’ll take for retribution is anyone’s guess and we are still looking for a decent affordable place to call home. The generosity and kindness being shown to us by others is a true testament to the saying Show others kindness and other will show kindness in return. ‘Kindness is King and if you can only manage to do one thing today let that one thing be kindness.’ ”

As reported previously at inthehammer, Caton worked in the chemical industry until he was about 40 years old. Then he pivoted to singing full-time, often at retirement homes, where hearing familiar music can be thereapeutic to late-in-life residents.

When COVID-19 hit and all the homes were closed to non-essential visitors, Caton was at loose ends. But he was asked to perform as Elvis for a socially distanced birthday for the mother of an associate, and before he knew it, he had jet-black hair, signature signboards and a song catalog of 170 of the King’s tunes.

Caton’s pop-up food drives, including one held Aug. 16 on the 45th anniversary of the day Presley died, have earned him a big following. He has actually has a bigger following on TikTok than on Facebook, with 40,000 followers on the former and some 25,000 on the latter.

Caton and Girard’s now-former landlord did not comment publicly in a CHCH story that aired on Sept. 16. Tyson Burke, a lawyer with the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, told the TV station that the way in which the eviction was allegedly executed is “flatly illegal.”

— with files from Karen Longwell

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