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Our second 'Listen for Liberia' event held in January was once again a huge success, raising over £300 for an essential wall for Everland Children's Home in Monrovia.
As the late American poet and educator Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, so wisely opined, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Through profound musical meters, nationalities are united: for feelings know no international boundaries, no linguistic divides. The emotions certain chords conjure are felt by all, regardless of context or circumstance.
In this unifying spirit, on the 29th of January 2013, an array of local Maidenhead musicians gathered together for Listen for Liberia II (a repeat of last year’s charitable endeavour) at The Vine pub in Maidenhead, UK, in a bid to raise funds for an essential wall and gate for Everland Children’s Home in Liberia.
The event was made possible, in part, by the tireless efforts of MJL’s Treasurer and Trustee, Tori Tompkins, who not only organised the event, but participated through singing several of her favourite songs, too. Amy Cross, a prominent promotions figure on the local music scene, was also instrumental in the events’ success this year, having tirelessly spread word of the upcoming gig far and wide: upon social networking sites and within Maidenhead’s local music community. Amy also took many of the photos which appear below.
Supremely gifted guitarist and singer, Damian Delahunty, offered the free use of his amplifying equipment during the evening, whilst simultaneously hosting the musical portions of the night and inviting acts onstage to play. The evening saw wonderful performances by many talented local musicians including Mark Crofts, The Skin and Blister Band, Damian Delahunty, Stu Moir, Ian Gudgeon, Johnny Seaman and Steve Sculpher.
As if the musical portions of the evening weren't enough, a charity mini shop was also set up in one corner of the pub complete with handmade African items, (hair bands, earrings and cutlery,) which were available for purchase. Tori also contributed some of her recent sketches, (several of Michael Jackson, Charlie Chaplin and Bob Dylan,) whilst her father, a retired professional wedding photographer, donated some beautiful framed nature photos.
Additionally, the landlords of the Vine pub, (husband and wife Danny and Mary and their son, Danny,) organised a simultaneous race evening. DVDs of horse races were played on a mounted screen and bets were placed, allowing individuals to enjoy all the virtual thrills of a day at the races. Meanwhile, Tori’s mum Suzanne, put together a luxury raffle prize complete with Thorntons and Hawaiian chocolates, bubbly, CDs and much more which was available to win on the night. Quite incredibly, in a small pub with a limited number of people, Suzanne managed to sell in excess of 170 out of 250 raffle tickets! What an extraordinary sales woman! As Alan Sugar, (or Donald Trump in the US) would say: “You’re hired.”
In uniting together through song, musicians on the evening managed to raise an incredible £336.12! Each and every individual performed with passion, love and honesty, holding in their hearts a sincere and selfless appreciation of the musical medium. Through the egalitarian language of melody, they spoke of a better future for the children of Liberia, and, for us all.
The black and white photos below are © Amy Cross, courtesy of Steak Knife Photography.
ABOVE: Tori reads out a letter of gratitude from MJL's Founding Director. RIGHT: Singing her heart out for Michael and children of Liberia.
TALENTED: Ian Gudgeon and Mark Crofts were just two of the many talented musicians that gave of their time and made the event a real success.
ABOVE LEFT: Damian Delahunty draws a out the name of a very lucky winner in the evening's raffle.
ABOVE RIGHT: MJL's Trustee and Treasurer, Tori, with her superwoman mum, Suzanne.
ABOVE: The hamper worth over £100, won by a lucky attendee on the night and, left, some of Tori's drawings together with many other items for sale, donated by well-wishers for the cause.