'Restoration' hits hurdle


'Restoration' hits hurdle

Observer writer

Saturday, November 30, 2019

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DESPITE being hit by an event cancellation, poor turnout, and inability to raise the target for Hurricane Dorian victims, organiser of charity concert series Restoration For Bahamas — Delroy Escoffery, felt he did the right thing.

“It was amazing. We got a mandate from God to help these people [Bahamians] and they loved the events. They really enjoyed them, and a lot of people regretted that they didn't come,” Jamaican-born Escoffery told the Jamaica Observer.

Restoration For Bahamas, a three-part series, was scheduled for Pompey Square in Nassau, Bahamas, on November 15 to 17. Night one was slated to be a dancehall/reggae concert, while two other nights were soca and gospel, respectively. The latter was free. The proceeds from the events were slated to be donated to Bahamas' victims of Hurricane Dorian.

The dancehall/reggae concert was, however, cancelled.

“We had to postpone the reggae/dancehall show to next year because certain things were not working out, and we did not have enough time. With the travel fees for the [dancehall and reggae] artistes, the cost for the bands and the overall execution just wasn't working. While soca and gospel were just 1,2,3, that couldn't happen with dancehall. We did not get any sponsorship from any local airline for the artistes and, as I said, it required a lot more time,” said Escoffery.

The soca concert featured Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons, Skinny Fabulous, Allison Hinds, Mr Killa, Blaxx, D Mac, Wendy and Julien Believe. Minister Marion Hall, Kevin Downswell, Carlene Davis, Rhoda Isabella, Christian Massive, Pastor Bruce Davis, DJ Godson and Oslien Jadorte all of whom graced the gospel stage. Ian “Ity” Ellis was the emcee.

According to Escoffery, approximately 750 patrons turned out to the concerts and his team raised US$25,000. However, after expenses were deducted, they were left with a paltry US$250.

“We had gotten sponsorship from a company for the sound, lights, stage and so on. But, there was a labour cost; meaning money to pay those who were actually setting up the stage, that I didn't know about until five days before and that really caused the profit to go down. After paying all of that, we were only left with US$250. Pastor Bruce Davis (from The Bahamas) gave another $250 and collected Sunday contributions which summed up to US $492, so we only have about $1,000 right now,” he said.

Escoffery said he would be seeking assistance to reach the minimum goal of US$5,000.

On September 1 and 2, Hurricane Dorian claimed the lives of 61 people in The Bahamas, while more than 600 remain missing. According to reports, over 70,000 persons are homeless and damage is estimated at US$7 billion.

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