PATRONS gathered on the lawns of Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Sunday evening for powerful performances and a worthy cause.
The occasion was the 10th staging of Musical Delights, the Lions Club of Kingston's annual fund-raiser, which is seeking to raise $25 million for a Sight Clinic on Beechwood Avenue in Kingston. The 30-year clinic has outgrown its location.
Errol Lee, show producer and Immediate Past District Governor of Lions Club International, is optimistic that the target will be met.
“We know it's gonna take some time. We already own the property so we'll do it one step at a time. We started the Heart Foundation next to us with just one volunteer and now we employ 68 members of staff full time. We're the largest NGO in Jamaica so you have to begin somewhere. It's the biblical parable of the Mustard Seed; you plant it and you let it grow. Big things will happen, we have the faith and the experience with the Heart Foundation to guide us in our pursuit of the Sight Foundation. The blue-print is there, we will follow it. Maybe next time we speak, I'll be able to tell you we'll break ground next year,” Lee told the Jamaica Observer at the event.
Lee said the Lions Club's donation would be matched by their overseas partners — the Lions Club International and the Canadian Vision Services.
Lee with his band Bare Essentials, along with special guests George Nooks, Admiral Bailey, and Richie Stephens, delighted patrons with interactive performances.
Lee and his outfit performed crowd favourites, including Nah Going Home. He later invited singer Tracey July to perform love-themed ballads.
Nooks transformed the audience into a choir as they stood and clapped throughout his gospel medley. He sang songs including God Is Standing By, Ride Out Your Storm, 40 Leg Dread, and Tribal War.
Bailey brought his usual comedic style to his performances, allowing the audience to burst into laughter as he transitioned among songs like Big Belly Man, Della Move, One Scotch and Jump Up.
Stephens closed the show and thrilled guests with performances of Foundation Sound, a ska single recorded by his Ska Nation Band; Trying To Get To You; and Fight Back, a collaboration done with Garnet Silk in 1994. Silk died in a fire in December 1994. He was 28.
Strong sets also came from Maria Myrie, Everton Pessoa, Nazzleman, and Jasmine Black who all ensured the audience had a good time.
The occasion also saw the 53-year-old Lions Club of Kingston accepting pledges to rebuild Walker's Place of Safety which was razed by fire last month, claiming the lives of two children and leaving 34 displaced.