Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda is to bring back its fundraising singing telegrams this year as a unique gift for Valentine’s Day.
Lovers can send their partners a personal “sing-a-gram” or poetry reading with the added bonus of supporting a good cause.
Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, BBBS managing director, said the charity had expanded the singing telegrams to include a female singer and poetry readings.
She explained that the funds raised will go towards the charity’s Core Mentoring Programme, which includes offering events, workshops and activities for its “Bigs” and “Littles”.
This year’s new additions include singer Mallissa Furbert and Jeff Baron, who will perform the poetry readings.
Guitar player Cahlii Smith, a manager with record label DemBiez and singer Willard Burch, an independent artist who has worked with DemBiez, were keen to again take part.
Jumar Hayward, one of the managers of Dembiez who is also helping to organise the event, said: “It was very good last year. It was phenomenal.
“We had so many e-mails that we had to pull in some outside help. We didn’t expect to get that much but when they started rolling in, it was great.
“I’ll be out there filming it again this time so people can catch another few of the highlights of this round.”
Mr Hayward said they were delighted to take part after Ms O’Connor-Paynter, also known as “Power Girl”, introduced them to the work of BBBS.
He added: “It was very inspiring to us as three young black males. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a beautiful cause.”
Mr Hayward said they were keen to use their talents to give back to the community and inspire others to do the same.
He added: “We just wanted to show other young black men that they can do things and use their talent to find a way to give back to a cause that helps the community.”
Mr Baron, a former Big Brother, encouraged people to sign up and support “such a unique and fun way to raise money for children”.
The Shadow Minister of National Security added: “For the sake and respect of everyone’s eardrums and minds, I will not be singing.
“I will be delivering telegrams, perhaps a card, poem or whatever the donor requests.”
Mr Baron said he had committed to raising funds for 12 charities in 12 months this year.
He added: “This fits in with that goal and I’m pleased to be helping BBBS yet again.”
Ms Furbert, who has been working with DemBiez, explained that she was asked to take part because more women were looking for female singers to serenade their partners.
She added: “It will be a fun thing to do because I haven’t done anything like this before — and because of the cause.”
Ms Furbert has a friend whose son is part of the programme so she knows the positive impact a mentor could have.
She added that her agreement to take part “was a no-brainer” and that she was “very much” looking forward to the day.
Ms O’Connor-Paynter said the artists will visit the recipient’s office, sing and deliver a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates along with a scented candle.
Singing Valentines cost $125 for the singer only, $150 for a singer with guitar, and $75 for a poetry reading.
They will be available only in the Hamilton area and there are limited slots.
• For more information or to book a Valentine’s Day serenade, call Big Brothers Big Sisters on 232-2802 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To view the Singing Valentine’s flyer, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”