Mayor’s Ball raises money for Red Cross

Published 8:14 pm Friday, February 12, 2010

Raising $5,000 to support the local disaster relief fund for the Black Belt of the American Red Cross, mayors and citizens from Selma and surrounding areas spent the night dancing and singing at the second annual Mayor’s of the Black Belt Charity Ball sponsored by the local Red Cross.

This amount will rejuvenate the dwindling funds the Red Cross had for local relief for the next six months.

“I’m ecstatic to see Selma turn out to support the local concerns of the Red Cross of the Black Belt,” said Jakki Caldwell-Phillips, executive director The American Red Cross of Central Alabama.

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Performing for the evening was singer Will Easley. Once a year he does a concert at no cost to the venue, and this year he chose to perform at the Mayor’s Ball. Last year he performed at an event for the American Cancer Society.

“I feel you have to give back,” Easley said. “I feel the good lord has been good to me and I have to give something.”

All his music, known as southern soul music, has a message of love, a message he hopes will change the world one day.

Through his more than 40 years of performing, he has opened for acts such as James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner, The Commodores, B.B. King, and more. The most memorable person he opened for was James Brown. “James was high energy,” Easley said. “He was just James Brown.”

Selma has also currently raised more than $17,000 in donations to send to the Red Cross to support the Haitian relief efforts.

“Selma, I know you have problems, but you are really blessed,” said DeWayne Allday, who recently completed a mission trip to Haiti. “If you think you’re not, take a trip to Haiti. I saw the Red Cross in Haiti and they were doing a wonderful job.”

The Red Cross is still accepting donations for either local disaster relief efforts or donations to send to Haiti. “It helps so many people,” said Mayor George Evans. “There couldn’t be a better charity to help.”

The Black Belt American Red Cross serves Dallas, Marengo, Perry and Wilcox counties.