Rockin' Holiday Tree Lighting
November 24, 2002
Awareness of the severe problems of abused and neglected children is crucial so they can be overcome by providing care and touching on the needs of these children. The Elevate Hope Foundation (EHF) raises money for this cause and lives up to this challenge.
On Sunday, November 24, 2002 the "Rockin' Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration" took place at the Citadel Outlets in Commerce, CA to benefit EHF and Craig Realty Group. The highlight of the evening was a thrilling performance by Sheila E. and Special Surprise Guests.
The festivities started at 5 pm with a rocking version of "The Glamorous Life" with Sheila E. on vocals and timbales. Lynn Mabry, co-chair of the foundation, explained how EHF is helping abused and abandoned children and educated everyone in attendance about the severe problems kids are facing that can be changed with love and humanity.
Sheila E., still out of breath from her energetic playing, thanked everyone for coming out at the beginning of Christmas time and encouraged people to support EHF in their efforts to raise money to build a Compassion Care Center of the Arts to help disadvantaged children.
Guest speaker, Apollonia, was moved to tears when telling the touching story of a boy named Rocky who was left by his drug-addicted mother and beaten up by her boyfriend. Music helped the little boy to regain self-respect and confidence when learning to play the guitar and practicing the theme of "Mission Impossible".
Coolio was the next guest speaker and called attention to statistics about child abuse and how EHF could help reduce these numbers through natural music therapy.
The entertainment continued with "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing" with Sheila E., Lynn Mabry and background singers Bridgette Bryant, Julie Delgato and Debra Parson sharing vocals.
This was followed by a jazzy version of "A Love Bizarre", a P-Funk medley and Sheila E.'s trademark rousing drum solo. During a short break the first conga drum was raffled off and signed for the winner who also got to take a photo on stage.
For the next part the "coolest family in the world", the Escovedo Family, took over the stage with the rhythmic Latin grooves of "Watcha Gonna Do?" lead by Pete Escovedo on timbales. He was accompanied by his sons Juan on congas and Peter Michael on bongos as well as Sheila E. on drums.
The gospel tune "Joyful Joyful" rang in the holiday season. It started slow and traditional before the groove picked up and was turned into another energetic amazing timbale solo. But the evening wasn't over yet and the E-Kids, Coolio and special guest performer, Mick Fleetwood, on percussion joined Sheila E. and the Escovedo Family on stage for "Little Drummer Boy". At the end of the song all musicians paraded in a conga line to the holiday tree in the center court where a mini stage was set up and Santa Claus awaited Sheila E. and friends.
The finale was a laser light show and lighting of the impressive 45-foot Christmas tree. After raffling off a few more items everybody got together for the last song of the night "We Wish You A Merry Christmas".
To give people plenty of opportunities to support EHF, 500 Mikasa Crystal Angel holiday ornaments personally autographed by Sheila E. were sold for $10 alongside CDs and raffle tickets. Conga and Bongo drum sets from Sheila E's Players Series as well as an electric scooter were raffled off.
The event was a big success providing food, fun and great music for those in attendance and raised $ 4,300 to help disadvantaged children through special programs and services that assist their needs.