On August 19, in front of an audience of over 300, Bobby Bovenzi and his 14 member West African drumming troupe, Nankama, delivered a highly energetic and crowd pleasing performance in this, the final presentation in the 2012 Rotary Sunday Concerts in the Park series.
Heritage Park, in its full summer lakeside splendour, has been the setting for all six open programs, which have seen such musical styles as big band, classical violins, guitar, folk songs and jazz entertain an ever widening audience of Peachlanders and visitors.
Nankama’s interactive format which saw large numbers of excited children literally try their hand at keeping up with Bobby Bovenzi’s rhythm directions provided perhaps a fitting end to the series which was designed to appeal to all ages.
Two groups in the audience deserve specific mention. The first was a returning and very welcome crew from the Westwood Retirement Resort in West Kelowna, while the second, which requires a little more explanation, was Marjolein Lloyd with her white tented ShelterBox display.
ShelterBox originated in 2000 as a project of a Rotary Club in Cornwall, England. Today it exists as an independent organization which is active in 21 countries with Rotary as one of its primary supporters.
ShelterBox describes itself as an international disaster relief charity that delivers shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide. Each box shipped to a crisis area provides an extended family of up to ten people with a tent and essential equipment for use while they are displaced or homeless.
While boxes are tailored to meet specific geographic needs, they usually contain a tent, a children’s activity pack, blankets, tools, a water purification kit plus a stove and fuel. With each box costing $1,000, thousands have already been sent to needy areas with, of course, no end in sight.
This brings us back to our relatively safe and peaceful Peachland. Through the generosity of those attending the concerts all the money donated will be used to purchase two units from ShelterBox on their behalf. Once the order is confirmed the box numbers will be published so their destination can be tracked via www.shelterboxcanada.org.
This is a simply outstanding conclusion to Concerts in the Park and fully in line with its “peace” theme. The ShelterBox concept was so appealing to Peachland artist Elizabeth Gregory that she too has generously made arrangements to purchase one.
Credit for the inspiration and excellent organization of the concert series goes to Rotarian Ken Clark who introduced most of the performers and is already hard at work recruiting for the 2013 season.
Before we leave 2012 it is important we recognize, give credit and our thanks to the series sponsors: TNI, New Monaco and Regency Retirements Resorts. A huge vote of thanks to all who attended and we very much look forward to seeing you all again next summer.
– Chris Scowen