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For Avril, There's No Place Like Home

Posted on Monday, January 20 at 00:21 by canadaka

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The T-shirt also bore another logo that was not clearly discernible. Dale Beebe, the owner of the Napanee hardware store, taped the show and watched it the next morning, discovering his store had been advertised to an international audience of millions.

“We were as shocked as anyone else,” Beebe said. “We couldn’t believe it. It’s the talk of the town, and the store. It’s pretty exciting.”

Lavigne was never employed at Home Hardware and the T-shirt is actually from a youth soccer team the store sponsors. Beebe isn’t sure where Lavigne got the old soccer shirt.

“Everywhere I go, people are asking me about it,” he said.

Since the weekend, more than a dozen people have come into the store asking to buy one of the red T-shirts.

“We’re going to get some made up,” Beebe said. The T-shirts will be printed by a local company and sold at the store, where a photo of Lavigne wearing the shirt is now in the window.

A limited number of shirts should be available within a week.

The Home Hardware store also carries Lavigne’s CD, Let Go, and assistant manager Dan Jones said sales have been good.

“She’s taken the world by storm,” said Jones, adding that Lavigne babysat for his niece.

A reporter from a magazine based in Germany visited Napanee recently to learn more about the town of 5,500 where Lavigne got her start.

This week, town leaders got the ball rolling on plans for a community party Feb. 23, the night the Grammy Awards are handed out in New York. Lavigne is nominated for five Grammys, the top honour in the international music industry.

The event will be held at the school Lavigne attended, Napanee District Secondary School, before she launched her career two years ago.

“It’s a nice connection to have it at her old school, plus it’s big enough to hold all the people,” said Mayor David Remington.

“Council is really excited about it. We’re really happy for her.

“We want to let Avril know that she’s appreciated.”

So far, only the location has been decided. Details for the party will be worked out in the coming weeks.

Remington said the goal is to have big screens playing the Grammy broadcast and Lavigne’s videos.

The singer’s record company will help by providing posters and prizes.

“We’re looking for lots of support to work it all out,” Remington said. “We’ve had offers from businesses and we’ll likely take them up on it.”

Councillor Jeremy Mills said people interested in helping with the event can contact town council.

“We’re expecting people from the local community and surrounding areas, and if that’s the case there will be limited seats.”

A draw may be used to distribute tickets to the free event.

Mills called Lavigne “a real booster” of Napanee. “We’re pleased that she’s so proud of our town.”

The Grammy night celebration will show Lavigne that Napanee is proud of her, too, he said.

The local pizzeria where Lavigne was a frequent customer has become a hot spot for fans.

La Pizzeria’s owner, Bill Kosmopoulos, has even named a pizza after Lavigne. Photos and posters of her decorate the Dundas Street eatery.

Across the street, at the post office in the IDA drugstore, fan mail for Lavigne is processed. Lavigne’s mother, Judy, picks up the cards and letters. While there, Judy Lavigne often buys copies of magazines in which her famous daughter appears.

IDA employee Angie Benn plans to organize a group to lobby town council for more recognition of Lavigne’s success.

She wants the Town of Napanee sign to read “Home of Avril Lavigne.”

As Mills put it: “People realize that we have a good thing to offer in Napanee. We’re still very much small-town, but a small town does not mean limitations.

“Sometimes from humble beginnings, great things can come.”

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