Party in the rain with ACT-SO

NAACP fundraiser pushes on through rain or shine to benefit ACT-SO students
Jo Jo Stockton, on bass and James “JJ” Jackson, drums of Solacoustix perform one of several tunes on stage at “Jazz on the Lawn.” DJ Jerome Bucker works the board in the background. – Photos by S. Hale

by G. Randolph

Despite the intermittent rain, the “Jazz on the Lawn” event held Sunday, July 7, went on as scheduled at the home of Clint Barlow under a series of big tents.

As an NAACP ACT-SO fundraiser, the proceeds garnered serve as financial assistance for local gold medal winners attending the National ACT-SO (Afro Cultural Technological Scientific Olympics) competition to be held July 18-21, 2019 in Detroit, MI.

Just before the event began, the rain came shortly before the performers, followed by supporters who braved the summer downpour and the show went on. A sizable crowd of ACT-SO well wishers were there to support this 5th Annual fund raiser as DJ Jerome Bucker summoned them in and got the party going.

Performers kept things jumping with a taste of several varieties of music including: blues, gospel, soul and a little jazz.

Headlining the event was Solacoustix’s featuring front-man Jo-Jo Stockton. Due to the absence of bandmember–Stuart Brown, (who was a little under the weather), JoJo, a vocalist and guitarist, was joined by other performers who together created a spontaneous jam session.

Outstanding vocalist Bernadette “BJ” Brown performed several soul favorites accompanied by, DeRon Lark, keyboard, and back-up singer, Amazetta Anderson. Other performers included: James “JJ” Jackson singing a favorite, “I Shot the Sheriff,” David “Chuck” Miller, keyboard, along with Chris Eural and Rodney Randolph on drums.

The cooking team, led by Clarence Hilton and Jerel Rhodes and a staff of assistants kept the fried fish dinners good, hot and ready as any attendee will attest to.

NAACP local branch president Brenda Hale speaks at Jazz on the Lawn.

Demonstrating her scientific knowledge and showcasing her STEM project; local gold medalist London Paige explained why she chose her project “The Effects of Yeast on the Decomposition of a Starch Based and an Algae Based Bioplastic.” Her presentation was well received and encouraged by the audience – bolstering her confidence as she prepares for nationals.

Three gold medalists were unable to attend. They are: Chadwick Davilsaint, Performing Arts-Dramatics; Antoine Jefferson, Humanities-Original Essay and Duy Pham, Performing Arts-Music-Vocal Contemporary.

Several Roanoke Youth Council members were in attendance and assisted with a 50/50 raffle. The winner, Dawn Bryant, donated her winnings to the youth.

Anyone interested in supporting the mission may purchase an ACT-SO T-shirt ($10). For order information contact branch president Brenda Hale (798-1387)

For more information on being an ACT-SO supporter, contact Gloria Randolph-King, ACT-SO Chairperson (793-0811), or ACT-SO Co-Chair, Sheila Herron at 540-853-6203.