Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe to present concerts to benefit Haiti residents suffering after earthquake and tropical depression

Funds will go to nonprofit Project Light International, based in Bradenton

Nate Jacobs will perform, along with other favorite WBTT artists, during the Help for Haiti benefit concerts. Contributed photo by Sorcha Augustine

“In the wake of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that ravaged Haiti” on Aug. 14, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) will present Help for Haiti: A Benefit Concert, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 29, the Troupe has announced.

Featuring WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs and friends, the concerts “will feature uplifting songs to raise funds and hope for the people of Haiti,” a news release explains.

“The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Haiti has impacted more than 1.2 million people, killed nearly 2,000 and injured nearly 10,000, with thousands hospitalized and many still not accounted for,” the release points out. “The situation has been further complicated by Tropical Depression Grace, which brought heavy rain and sustained winds to Hispaniola early this week, hampering search and rescue efforts,” the release adds.

Each 90-minute program “will feature touching and soulful versions of popular songs such as Lean On Me, We Are The World and Put A Little Love In Your Heart,” the release says.

“Proceeds will benefit the Bradenton-based organization Project Light International (P.L.I.), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing emergency first responders, nurses and other medical professionals,” as well as ambulances and helicopters, to help rescue and treat those in need, the release continues. “These vital emergency services” are not available in many Haitian communities, the release points out.

“Friends of mine in Haiti have been impacted by the earthquake,” said Jacobs in the release. Jacob’s friend — a co-founder of P.L.I. — “lost his wife and three children in the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti and founded the organization after that disaster,” the release notes. “I felt compelled to respond and try to help in the best way I know how — through music,” Jacobs added in the release.

The concerts will take place at WBTT’s theater in Sarasota, which is located at 1012 N. Orange Ave., the release says. “Masks will be required; there will be no intermission and no concessions will be sold,” the release notes. Tickets are $27 (including ticket fees) and are available through WBTT’s website, westcoastblacktheatre.org, or by calling the box office: 941-366-1505.

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