Summerland is full of amazing musical talent, and on Jan. 11, some of the very best will take the stage in support of helping the less fortunate around the world. The event is called Play it Forward.
On Saturday at 7 p.m., Centre Stage Theatre will host 11 local artists: Jo and the Soul, Kirk Dixon, Anna McGuigan, and Groundswell.
The concert is open to the entire community, with admission by donation.
The funds raised will support two anti-poverty efforts scheduled for early 2014, projects in Africa and Mexico that will be carried out by Summerland volunteers.
The benefit concert is the brainchild of Summerland Baptist Church Youth Pastor Mikel Laurie and Mercy Tech Mission (MTM) director Rick Cogbill.
Cogbill will be leaving Jan. 28 to teach employable skills in rural Mozambique for six weeks.
From March 23 to 30, Summerland Baptist Church youth will travel with Laurie to San Quintin, Mexico to build a house for a homeless family.
“We thought a night of quality music at Centre Stage would be a unique way to let the community know about local people who are making a difference in the world,” Cogbill said.
He founded MTM in 2011, and since then a number of local tradesmen have traveled with him to Africa.
The church youth mission trips historically happen every two years, and this will be one of the bigger teams.
“We have 27 youth and adults from Summerland going to bless a family in Mexico,” Laurie said. “I’m excited to see the impact this will have on not only those we serve, but on the team as well.”
There will also be a silent auction in the lobby, with gift baskets donated by local businesses. Complimentary refreshments will be served during intermission.
“We’ve had great buy-in from everyone,” Cogbill said. “It’s reassuring to know that when you’re half a world away, there are people back home who support what you’re doing.”
Musically, there will be something for every taste. “We have folk/soft rock, classical flute, flamenco guitar, and jazz/funk,” Laurie said. “The musicians volunteering for this event are outstanding. We’re expecting a full house.”