New Valentine’s Day present is note perfect
Men searching for a unique Valentine's Day gift for the lady in their life need look no further.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda is offering singing telegrams with the added bonus of supporting a good cause.
The charity has teamed up with three singers who have volunteered their time to go around Hamilton spreading love through music.
“Everyone gives candy, flowers and balloons which are all wonderful gifts. However, this is something memorable and different that a lady would enjoy,” BBBS managing director Patrina O'Connor-Paynter said. “Who doesn't like to be serenaded? It is so meaningful. And to see the reaction on someone's face is priceless. I have seen it cause someone to be so touched that they cry. It's a beautiful gift.”
Guitar player Cahlii Smith, a manager with record label DemBiez, singer Willard Burch, an independent artist who has worked with DemBiez, and fellow singer Lloyd Holder were all keen to participate.
Although “sing-a-grams” are not a new concept to DemBiez, they knew it was the perfect fit when they were approached by Ms O'Connor-Paynter about a Valentine's Cay initiative.
Ms O'Connor-Paynter had come up with the idea years ago and decided to approach DemBiez after seeing a video they had posted on their Facebook page.
“These gentlemen are using their talents to help raise funds for BBBS in a truly creative way,” Ms O'Connor-Paynter said. “And trust me they can sing — I get goosebumps listening to them.
“It proves that there are many ways someone can get involved in our programme. We are very excited about this collaboration and encourage anyone with an idea to give us a call.”
She added that it is a great opportunity to offer something different for Valentine's Day, while also partnering with young men in the community.
“The funds will go towards our Core Mentoring Programme, which includes offering events, workshops and activities for our Bigs and Littles.”
Recipients will be surprised at their workplace with a serenade by either Mr Smith, Mr Burch or Mr Holder. Their loved ones can choose to be present or the singers can work alone.
Jumar Hayward, one of the managers of Dembiez who is also helping to organise the event, said they hope it will help raise awareness of BBBS and inspire others to get involved.
“We're just happy to come out and help, doing what we already do,” Mr Hayward said. “We know some youth that are actually in the programme and benefiting from it.
“I know one boy in particular — he had lost his father to gun crime — he has a big brother he can call any time he wants because he doesn't really have any other siblings.”
Noting the importance of role models, the 25-year-old added: “It might also encourage more people our age to be big brothers and big sisters because they see us doing something good in the community.”
Mr Holder said he was also happy to take part, telling The Royal Gazette that he believes the mentoring programme dedicated to helping children and youth, primarily from single-parent homes, is “vital” for the island.
He added that he thought the idea of the singing telegrams was “very clever”.
“I haven't really seen it done before in a local context. It's something different that could potentially catch on to become quite a hit on an annual basis.
“Who wouldn't want someone to come and serenade them? If you're a guy looking for something creative to do for your significant other, then this would be a great opportunity to do something. “
Ms O'Connor-Paynter also thanked BGA for sponsoring the initiative. Singing Telegrams cost $75 and will be available only in the Hamilton vicinity. There are limited slots.
For more information or to book a Valentine's serenade, call Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda on 232-2802 or e-mail email@example.com