Singers raise funds, lift hearts

A group of musicians struck a chord in Cayman and helped the dialysis unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital, as well as assisted a former band member fight cancer.

A portion of $1,500 raised during last month’s Pirates Week East End heritage night concert, featuring Bajan singers and musicians, was presented to the Kidney Foundation last week.

Singer, performer and dialysis patient George Jones, along with the East End Pirates Week Committee, presented a check to Adrienne van Oorschot of the Kidney Foundation.

“George Jones – a founding member of soca band Square One now living in East End – needed dialysis here at the Cayman Islands Hospital three times a week, so the singers pitched in to assist Mr. Jones and the dialysis unit,” said Kendal Connor, a committee member for East End Heritage Day.

Mr. Jones said it was a great show.

“Eleven of my friends came in from Barbados, including the top stars, such as Alison Hinds, Rupee, Blood, Mikey, Biggie Irie, Edwin Yearwood. In the absence of sponsors, we were still able to generate enough funds to pay for the event and to also donate to the Kidney Foundation, which should go a way in assisting some of the program expenses that the unit undergoes,” he said. “It is a small way of giving back to an environment which takes care of me. I am happy to be able to contribute to the environment, the hospital and the unit that takes great care of me.”

Mr. Jones said part of his mission in life is to help as much as he can.

“I use my position as an entertainer with the resources and friends that I have to come and make a contribution both to the musical landscape of the island, as well as to the medical environment of which I am a part,” he said.

It was after meeting his future wife in Barbados that Mr. Jones made Cayman his home.

“I was a part of a band called Square One. It was a very popular band in the Caribbean at the time [and] traveled throughout the world,” he said.

Still involved in Cayman’s music scene, Mr. Jones plays in a local band, K-energy.

Last year, Mr. Jones met with the founder of the Kidney Foundation, the late Dr. Frits Hendriks, and spoke of making contributions to the dialysis unit.

“I told him of my plans and access to entertainers and artists, and he gave me his blessings. My mission at first was to purchase a new dialysis machine. It is quite costly … around $25,000 to $30,000, but we know ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ I told him [that from] my involvement in any entertainment activities in the Cayman Islands, I would donate part of those proceeds toward the foundation.”