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Jazz time for Jack and Jill fundraiser with Michael Rhodes and Jive Band

Jazz time for Jack and Jill fundraiser with Michael Rhodes and Jive Band

May 19th, 2017 by Aaron Brand in Features

Michael Rhodes and the Jive Band provides the entertainment Sunday, May 28, for Jazz on the Hill, a local fundraiser for Jack and Jill of America.

Photo by Submitted photo

Jazz on the Hill brings good times for a good cause to Texarkana on Sunday, May 28, with performers Michael Rhodes and the Jive Band as entertainment.

From 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. that night at Texas A&M University-Texarkana's Eagle Hall, the Texarkana Twin Cities Chapter of Jack and Jill of America provides a celebration to raises funds for both the local chapter and national group's work with youth.

"Michael Rhodes and the Jive Band will be providing music," said the chapter's foundation chair, Kimberly Bursey-Reece. "Every year they do a mix because we have a varied audience, but it's called Jazz on the Hill so they do jazz."

Expect to hear some R&B, blues and more, too, from Michael Rhodes and his crew, who've been the musical headliners for this event for several years. "They give everybody a little bit of what they're looking for," Bursey-Reece said of the variety.

Local chapters of Jack and Jill of America all hold fundraisers to support the national foundation, and that's the case here in Texarkana.

"It's an evening of music and food, fun and fellowship," said Bursey-Reece.

One-third of the proceeds go to the national organization, but two-thirds of it stays here, she explained. National funds can also return in the form of grants, too. "Basically, our task is to build strong communities," she said.

She said Jack and Jill started in 1938 via the efforts of a Philadelphia mom who wanted to organize like-minded mothers to provide different activities for children. Mothers are actually the chapter members, which means about 40 children are involved in local programs, she said.

At the local level, Jack and Jill gets involved with community activities once a month. The activity must be cultural, social, educational or civic, Bursey-Reece said.

They've tutored local kids and also helped with a Halloween carnival. They held a cultural day and toured an exhibit of African-American art and culture at the Regional Arts Center. They've participated in the Black History Month Parade here. They've worked with such groups as the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Rosehill.

"We took them to the symphony," Bursey-Reece said about youth at the Boys and Girls Club. Members of the visiting Harlem Quartet performed there at the club for the kids, who were also able to attend their Perot Theatre concert.

"They got to have a hands-on exposure during the workshop where they could touch and ask questions," Bursey-Reece said about kids getting up close to a classical quartet and their instruments.

About Jazz on the Hill, Bursey-Reece said, you should expect all the food and all the drinks that you can possibly eat and drink. Cafe 511 caters.

"Everything is included with the cost of the ticket," she said.

And about the work that Jazz on the Hill supports, Bursey-Reece says reaching children early makes change happen in the community.

"We invest in services, programs and organizations that focus on impacting the underlying issues affecting African-American children and families. We're trying to create a strong foundation for children to thrive long-term," she said.

They have regulars who attend this event year after year. It's a way for them to party with a purpose, said Bursey-Reece.

"It's a great evening of fun with a wonderful cause," she said.

(Tickets: $30. Call Kimberly Bursey-Reece at 903-244-9534 or visit EventBrite.com and search for Jazz on the Hill to purchase tickets.) 

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