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Musicians will jam for playground project

The jazz society will present a concert to raise money for a Kiwanis project that includes special playground equipment for children with disabilities.

By JOY DAVIS-PLATT

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2001


SPRING HILL -- Members of the Hernando County Jazz Society and the Spring Hill Kiwanis Club are taking on a good cause with a good beat.

On Sunday, society members will give a concert to benefit the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind, which will use the proceeds for its Little Lighthouse playground project.

"We have raised quite a bit of money for children's charities in the past," said Eddie Lawrence, president of the Hernando Jazz Society and a member of the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill.

Lawrence has made a name for himself as a blues singer since he moved to Hernando County from New York nine years ago. He performs regularly at clubs and in jazz shows. He will be joined on stage Sunday by local favorites Lori Hafer and Judy K and sing such standards as Smack Dab in the Middle, Early in the Morning and Change Partners.

Themed "An American Music Parade," the concert will also feature the doo-wop sound of Tommy and the Saints, Lawrence said.

The club's fourth annual fundraiser, the concert will benefit Lighthouse's developmental rehabilitation program for children from newborn to 6 years old. Ultimately, the project will include special playground equipment for children with multiple disabilities that costs about $10,000, said Hernando County Lighthouse manager Marian Robinson.

"This will be a place for these children to explore their world and enjoy their environment as they learn," Robinson said.

Pathways, benches and wheelchair-accessible picnic tables are already in place, Robinson said. The first phase of the project will be completed with a wheelchair-accessible sandbox and a play set designed for disabled children.

"This is an extraordinary thing to be involved with," said Lawrence, a retired police officer. "We are happy to do it."

Members of the jazz society and the Spring Hill Kiwanis will hold their annual music show at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Springstead Theatre at Springstead High School, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Tickets are $15. For information, call 683-7254.

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