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Donations flood in during cruise ship concert 
     October 09. 2003 9:23AM


Getting into the swing of things: One of the acts at Tuesday's concert. (Photo by Tony Cordeiro)

By Nancy Acton

They came in droves and most stayed until the very end. In between, visitors and residents alike were treated to four hours of non-stop entertainment few are likely to forget.
Under threatening skies, musicians, singers, dancers and entertainers - 17 acts in all - from the cruise ships Norwegian Majesty and Norwegian Sea gathered in the Town Square, St. George's yesterday afternoon to give their all in a special fundraiser for the badly damaged St. George's Preparatory School and the bereaved families of the Causeway victims following Hurricane Fabian.
The event, the brainchild of Norwegian Cruise Lines entertainers Marcus Dagan and Chad Brennan, marked the culmination of weeks of planning and coordination with such local bodies as the Corporation of St. George's, the St. George's Marketing Group, Spanish Town International, Cafe Latte and more.
As the concert progressed, the donations flowed. Some passengers gave $1,000 each, many gave $500. Local merchants, St. George's residents, seniors and children all chipped in to swell the donation boxes. One of the entertainers auctioned a pair of found sunglasses for $50, and later raised hundreds more after agreeing to be ducked by the Town Crier.
Among the many spectators who danced, sang, clapped and swayed the afternoon away was a Down syndrome visitor who had the time of his life wearing the Town Crier's hat and ringing his bell. A deeply tanned Irish lass, elegantly encased in Spandex, became an increasingly enthusiastic supporter as the contents of her disposable cup took hold. For the passing octogenarian granted a dance or two, it was a brief glimpse of a second spring.
Much later, students of St. George's Preparatory School joined the fun in the Square until it was time to for them to sing. When they did, the crowd pressed close, forming a solid, enthralled wall.
The Mayor of St. George's, the Wor. Henry Hayward, presented certificates of appreciation to each of the performers, who had so willingly given up their free time to rehearse and share their talents, and Mr. Dagan ended the concert with a song he wrote in homage to the Island for which he and his colleagues have such a deep affection: 'All My Dreams are Safely Gathered In'.
Later, when asked for his reaction to the overwhelming success of event, the singer/songwriter simply said: "The title of my song came true."
An equally tired by happy Mr. Brennan confessed he was "completely overwhelmed".
"The ships' entertainers are the real heroes and I thank them. Thank you Bermuda. I hope the spirit of the show continues."


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