Fri | May 29, 2020

Artistes shine at ‘September to Remember’ charity luncheon

Published:Saturday | October 5, 2019 | 12:00 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer

After several years of singing for Father Ho Lung and Friends and Mustard Seed, Dimario McDowell continues to ply his talent for charity. On Sunday, he and some friends delivered a money-worth-spending experience at the Stella Maris St Vincent de Paul Conference, September to Remember Annual Luncheon. The venue was the Roman Catholic Church Hall, Shortwood Road, St Andrew.

In an interview with The Gleaner, McDowell explained that “philanthropy is important ,and one heart needs the other. This is my ability. The hope is that you have positively influenced somebody’s life by putting a smile on their face, and this is what it is all about. It’s not about my pocket.”

The luncheon began at 11:00 a.m. with a consistent flow of supporters. Some chose to collect their meals and then depart. Others remained for the advertised “great entertainment”. Songbird Candy Isaacs was the first act. The visually impaired vocalist began with her usual wit. “I hope you enjoy what I have prepared for you,” she told the diners before delivering a set comprising various genres of music.

Chris McDonald was the first of McDowell’s friends to grace the stage. The talented musician showed that he was more than an excellent keyboardist, but a fine vocalist, too. After appropriately opening his set with Let Me Be the One, he had the audience singing along with Because I am Happy.

Rose-Marie Lee also answered the call for charity. The 21 year-veteran of the Jamaica Constabulary Force opened with one of her favourite songs, the popular hymn How Great Thou Art and ended her set with a standing-ovation-rendition of The Prayer, with friend McDowell.

Unfortunately, comedian Oliver Samuels, a featured act, was not able to attend the luncheon. Instead, a video of his apology was shown. Samuels, who is well known for his philanthropy, encouraged the organisers to “keep up the good work”.

McDowell followed, and he had the audience engaged through dancing and a sing-along. Among his set were My Girl and Tarrus Riley’s She’s Royal.

The dessert was George Nooks, who went very far down memory lane with Left with a Broken Heart and Tribal War before launching into a medley of gospel songs. The singer said he had “proven over and over, God is a good God”.

The diners were also treated to prizes and surprises, nicely served by MC Paul Bitter and his able assistants.

Chairman of the fundraising committee Joseph Francis is hoping that next year will be bigger and better, with a longer entertainment package.