Third World to play from heartstrings for For the Children charity gala
WHEN JAMAICA’S reggae ambassadors, Third World, hit the stage at New York City’s Sony Hall on Saturday, November 12, for the Issa Trust Foundation’s For The Children charity gala, the internationally acclaimed 49-year-old band will be playing from their heartstrings for a cause equally close as home to its members, as it is to the event’s organiser.
While chairman Paul Issa spoke about the fundraising gala’s entertainment package at the recent press launch and how the proceeds will help construct his grandparents’ legacy, the Mary Issa Health Centre in Richmond, St Ann, Jamaica’s first primary-care facility dedicated to children and adolescents, two Third World members – Cat Coore and drummer Tony ‘Ruption’ Williams – were moved to share their own experiences.
Coore, a founding member of the band, played at a similar Issa Trust Foundation fundraiser for the renovation of the paediatric ward of the St Ann’s Bay Hospital, and was moved to tears on a visit to see the improvements.
“The thought process behind helping the children of Jamaica is my focus,” he said. “I was there to see the work the Issa Foundation did at St Ann’s Bay Hospital. I was choked up,” Coore added, before his fellow band member, ‘Ruption’, revealed how personal it was for him using his drumsticks to raise money for children at a Couples Resorts/Issa Trust Foundation event.
“I learnt music at the Montego Bay Boys’ and Girls’ Club, which I am actively involved in to this day,” said the drummer. It is a joy to me to see the many youngsters, who I nurture, go out on their own in the world.
“I worked at Couples for about a year and a half as a drummer with the resident band after getting my break. Couples was where I also met my wife, who was working as an entertainment coordinator at the time, so to be back for this great cause is meaningful to me and satisfying,” he added.
Equally satisfying is the foundation’s chairman’s dream of honouring his grandmother, Mary Issa, in whose memory his grandfather had built the Mary Issa Clinic at Heroes Circle in Kingston.
“We tried reopening that clinic but it didn’t work out for various reasons so we decided to build this facility in St Ann, specifically aimed at children because my grandmother loved children, she grew them and she adopted many,” he pointed out.
Having exceeded $40 million in philanthropic contributions in its 17-year existence, the Issa Trust Foundation hopes the charity dinner gala with a ticket price of US$350 will pull attendees from the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for fine dining and dancing to the many hits of Third World and the night’s first act, Leon & The Peoples, featuring singer and actor Leon from the Jamaica-themed hit movie, Cool Runnings.
Thanking a plethora of sponsors, which included Couples Resorts, Mayberry Investments, Wisynco Limited, Richmond Estates, Fraser, Fontaine and Kong, National Commercial Bank, Jamaica Money Market Brokers, Victoria Mutual and the Jamaica Tourist Board, Issa said the event will be one of many as a lot of money will be needed to fund the project for which construction will begin next year.
Projected to cost US$800,000 in its first stage, before expanding to a two-storey structure, the Mary Issa Health Centre will provide expertise in cardiology, nephrology gastroenterology, oncology, as well as offering counselling, mental-health care and social development to adolescents, as explained by the foundation’s president and CEO, Diane Pollard, who joined the launch electronically from Iowa.