Promoter, artistes put heart into charity concert
Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
The Maxfield Park Children's Home is understandably dear to Lawrence 'Jah Mike the Ambassador' Lugg's heart. "Maxfield is where I learn to read and write. I went to Roseau Primary, then Tarrant and then Kingston Technical High School (KTHS), then to Jamaica Commercial Institute - I was doing Accounts," he said.
So, behind the music onstage at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, Hope Road, St Andrew, on Sunday, August 21, will be a lot of love for the home. But Maxfield Park is not the only beneficiary of the concert, which features Beenie Man, Mavado, Gyptian, Romain Virgo, Queen Ifrica, Nakita, Passion Minott, Lady G, Silvertones, Junie Platinum, The Heptones, Angella Stewart, Ras Omeek, Guidance, The Tidals, Keke I and others. Richie B will do MC duties.
The Jubilee Hospital, a major maternity facility not only in Jamaica but the Caribbean, will also receive a contribution from the concert's proceeds.
Jah Mike explains that initially he was slated to do an event at Mas Camp, New Kingston, with a promoter from Canada named Monica. She had wanted part proceeds from that event to go to Jubilee, Jah Mike committing to Maxfield Park, so when that date fell through, the beneficiaries were combined for the August 21 concert.
Rebel-T, Prince Hardis and Tafari sound systems are slated to play, with Prince Hardis International Band down for music duties. Jah Mike points out that there is a high level of volunteerism for the concert as "is a real charity we have. Is not a joke charity. There are certain things down at the hospital that need to fix and they don't have the money. It is where the nation have the babies, so it is a very important project".
He points out hat he has done an event benefitting Maxfield Park Children's Home before, in 1999. Plus, he has done more than organise events to support the institution, as he once gave sports instructions there thrice weekly.
It is a matter of returning some of what he has benefitted from, as Jah Mike says he got involved in cricket, football, badminton and table tennis at Maxfield Park. He also remembers being taken to the movies, extra shine shoes and all. "Back in the day it was beautiful, compared to now. Now it is running down and the people need to come together," he said. "It is not what your country can do for you; it is more what the people can do for the people of the country."
"It is one of the greatest children's home in Jamaica that need attention. It is very important for your children, my children," Jah Mike said, noting that Maxfield Park has been home to persons who have gone on to have a positive impact on the society.
He says the money to be donated from the concert to the two institutions will be designated for specific projects. Tickets are available at Ranny Williams and Jubilee. There will be rides for the children from noon all day for a minimal fee.
This project behind the music is taking a lot out of Jah Mike. "This is a big challenge for me right now. It is a lot of work," he said.