News

Last Call back fundraiser honouring Simmons

  • Much loved: the late Leroy Simmons of the Bermuda Entertainment Union (File photograph)
  • Supporting musicians: Last Call’s Adrian Jones and Tricray Astwood will be among the guests on the live broadcast

Gospel group Last Call will take to the airwaves this weekend with an array of broadcast personalities to support young musicians and the Bermuda Entertainment Union.

The news came after the BEU, led by acting chairwoman Selena Fields, founded a scholarship in memory of president Leroy Simmons, who died last month.

Ms Fields said: “Another goal for the union is to establish a benevolent plan to support our entertainers as they grow old.

“We have had to bury a few artists in the last year. The union tried to step up and help their families. We’ve always wanted a fund for such things.”

The six-hour broadcast, from noon to 6pm, on Magic 102.7, was the idea of Rick Richardson, a former CEO of the Bermuda Broadcasting Company.

Mr Richardson decided to organise the event after he learnt that Mr Simmons was ill.

Last Call shot to fame after they took the No 1 spot on the Gospel National Airplay Chart last month with their song Victory, written by Last Call’s Adrian Jones and Tricray Astwood.

Mr Richardson said the two were “amazing young men doing positive things”.

He added: “The scholarship will help those seeking a career in the arts.

“We talk about supporting the industry and now it’s time to show our support by pledging on May 18.”

Mr Jones said yesterday that the fundraiser would help “propel us to the next stage of our career”.

He added the duo, who can be followed on social media at the handle @lastcallworship, “had to create its own platform and opportunities when it came about four years ago”.

Mr Astwood said: “We’ll be on air live in the studio talking about our upcoming plans and our record label’s owner will call to talk to Bermuda.”

Fred Jerkins, the president of the US-based DarkChild Gospel label, will talk about the group’s progress — and the BEU has enlisted Bermudian artists overseas to talk about their own careers.

Radio hosts Nikita Robinson, Qian Dickinson and Patrina “Power Girl” Paynter will interview artists at home and abroad and listeners will be able to call and pledge cash.

Mr Astwood told young artists: “Make sure you know this is what you want to do. Make sure this is your calling — get educated and get better at it.”

Ms Fields said the BEU also wanted to help “older local artists who have fallen on hard times”.

She added: “The union has had peaks and valleys but in the last several years we have made strides, and we want to continue the legacy.”

To donate to the event or the Leroy A Simmons Entertainment Scholarship, call Magic at 297-1076 on Saturday. The toll-free number from the US and Canada is 1-888-257-9086. To learn more about the Bermuda Entertainment Union, which is holding a special general meeting on June 2 at the Bermuda Industrial Union headquarters, e-mail info@bermudaentertainmentunion.com