Watch parties for Shaunae and Steven at national stadium

The Power of One organization and the National Sports Authority (NSA) are coming together in a move of true resolve to bring relief to Hurricane Dorian victims and also to celebrate the accomplishments of a pair of Bahamian track and field stars.

On successive evenings – Thursday, October 3 and Friday, October 4 – Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner are expected to go after gold in the men and women’s 400 meters (m) respectively at the 17th International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Circumventing those races, through a joint effort, the Power of One and the NSA will stage a hurricane relief drive, seeking to bring hope, help and healing to the nation.

Also coming on board are the junkanoo community of The Bahamas, the Kiwanis Club of Nassau and the Bahamas Red Cross Society. A three-day event will feature watch parties for Miller-Uibo and Gardiner’s races – the first of its kind on this scale in The Bahamas, junkanoo rushouts, a “Jesus in the Park” massive gospel musical explosion, a national telethon and a grand concert featuring a variety of Bahamian musical artists.

All of the events are set for the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, and all proceeds will go toward hurricane relief victims from Grand Bahama and Abaco who were affected by the passing of the deadly storm.

Representing the Power of One organization, a collective force of various artists who came together following the passing of Hurricane Joaquin through The Bahamas, Pia Glover-Rolle said that they invite everyone to attend and make this event a huge showing of love, support and healing for the nation through music and the arts.

“From October 3-5, the creative community of The Bahamas will come together in a grand showing of solidarity for our brothers and sisters who have experienced devastation in the wake of Hurricane Dorian to provide healing through the arts,” she said. “Music is the universal language, and while we will provide three days of musical upliftment through various performing artists, junkanoo and DJ sets, the creative community is also comprised of dance, visual and graphic artists, sound and light engineers, production professionals, beauty queens, models, media, bloggers and influencers. The support of the Power of One creative community in lending their time, talents and resources to this grand and unified production for the hurricane relief victims has been nothing short of amazing and overwhelming, and we look forward to a grand event.”

NSA General Manager Quinton Brennen said it is their honor to partner with organizations such as the Power of One, the Kiwanis Club of Nassau and the Bahamas Red Cross Society to bring something to the country that has never been seen here before.

“What we are trying to create is just an overall sense of good feeling that the nation desperately needs at this point,” he said. “We want the entire Bahamian community and the Haitian community to come out and be a part of this. The timing could not better with Shaunae competing on October 3 for a world title and Steven competing on October 4. There is a plethora of artists who want to be a part of this undertaking, and we appeal to everyone to come out and enjoy the activities. Our appeal is to the masses. We are targeting every single aspect of the Bahamian as well as the Haitian diaspora, and all of the different cultures that are here in The Bahamas. Together, we could be the power of one.”

President of the Bahamas Red Cross Society Terez Curry said that they are delighted to partner with the Power of One group and the NSA and they look forward to the many artists performing and helping to bring relief to the many hurricane victims.

“The Bahamas Red Cross Society is on the ground in Abaco and Grand Bahama, and also here in Nassau, providing relief for the victims. This event will allow the evacuees here in Nassau to come out, relax and de-stress,” she said. “We are seeking to provide some sort of upliftment and healing and we encourage all persons from Abaco and Grand Bahama who are here to come out, join in and have fun.”

Representing the junkanoo community, Kishlane Smith said that they are indeed pleased to have been invited to be a part of the event.

“We are happy to be involved because we want to render our thoughts and prayers to our brothers and sisters who were affected by the hurricane,” she said. “We have some beautiful melodies that will be played over the course of the weekend and we invite all to be a part of this true Bahamian celebration.”

On the Thursday of the event, gates will open at 3 p.m. The women’s 400m final is set for 4:50 p.m., and it will be shown live on the jumbotrons inside the stadium. The race will be followed by a junkanoo rushout and a mini concert. Patrons are asked to bring along a hurricane relief item each or a $1 donation toward Hurricane Dorian relief for entry. DJs and performers will entertain the crowd, and vendors will have food and beverages for sale.

That Friday, a number of DJs and entertainers will be dispersed at four major roundabouts in New Providence to collect hurricane relief items from motorists and passers-by as they move through the streets. The Steven Gardiner watch party is set for 3:20 p.m. that day and the massive gospel musical explosion will be held at 7 p.m. Maurice “DJ Godson” Fawkes in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture will present the “Jesus in the Park” musical show, and a Junkanoo rushout will follow. Entrance for that event is free and hurricane relief donations will be collected.

“This is about our people coming together as the power of one,” said Fawkes. “We are coming together in a grand gospel concert and it is going to be amazing. We are going to celebrate in the name of the Lord at a time when people need to be uplifted. People need to hear that God is still a provider and He is still a healer. We are going to help in this initiative by coming together. We need everyone to come out, bring a hurricane relief item and just help our brothers and sisters in the islands. We are going to create unity through the power of one. We have so many gospel artists coming out, nationally and internationally, and it is going to be an amazing event.”

In their races, Miller-Uibo and Gardiner are expected to show the strength and determination of the Bahamian people through athletics.

On Saturday, the NSA will stage a national telethon and a grand Power of One Bahamian concert, starting at 2 p.m. There will be a Junkanoo rushout on that day as well. Over 30 of the nation’s top artists and bands along with various artists from around the region will perform. The entrance fee for the grand concert is $10 and patrons are asked to bring some form of hurricane relief donation.

One of the Bahamian artists who will perform, Dillon “D-Mac” McKenzie, said collectively they see a degree of devastation happening in the country and want to come together as a creative community and do their part.

The Bahamas Red Cross Society will receive relief items on behalf of the hurricane survivors and the Kiwanis Club of Nassau will receive all cash donations. Items such as clothing, non-perishable food items, toiletries and baby care items will be accepted by PTG Modeling Agency and Queens in Action.

All of the relief items and donations for the entire weekend will go toward the Hurricane Dorian relief efforts.

Evacuees from all of the shelters in New Providence have been invited to attend all of the events over the three days, and they will be transported free of charge courtesy of the Power of One and the NSA.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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