After Joyce Noel’s aunt spent four years fighting breast cancer at Moffitt Cancer Center, Noel felt compelled to do give back to the place that kept her aunt’s spirits up in trying times.
After calling in help from her church’s band and other performance-art friends, Noel assembled a lineup for Gospel Fest from 5 to 9 p.m. July 27 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2200 26th St. W. The event is free but donations for Moffitt will be accepted.
Noel’s cousin, Mary Dominique Edouacovin, died March 15 at age 47. Watching a family member battle and eventually surrender to a terminal illness is never easy, but Noel said Moffitt made the process smoother for the whole family.
“We’d have to take her there every Monday to go and get treatment and Moffitt was amazing,” Noel said. “They made her smile, made her laugh, made her feel like she was a part of the family. They were very sweet with us.”
Edouacovin’s cousin, Raquel Prime, married to Wisguere Prime at Trinity Lutheran Church in December, which is how she met Trinity Pastor Bobbie Blackburn.
Whenever the building is not previously in use and if someone requests it and we’re available, we want to serve the community.
Pastor Bobbie Blackburn, Trinity Lutheran Church
Trinity Lutheran was one of the only churches in the area large enough for the Prime wedding, Blackburn said. The Lutheran pastor has been in Bradenton 20 years. She previously lived in Chicago and Louisville, Ky.
“Our building is a gift we stewarded for the community,” Blackburn said. “It belongs to God and we’re here to help in any way we can to be God’s hands and feet in the world.” Trinity Lutheran doesn’t charge for use of the building and hosts other community events to “further God’s love and God’s work,” including free Zumba classes, Alcoholics Anonymous group meetings, multiple sclerosis support group meetings and periodical special events that support community organizations like the PACE Center for Girls.
Noel said the proceeds from Gospel Fest will go to patient care at Moffitt. She set a goal of raising $10,000 and will host a gala for the cause at 7 p.m. Sept. 3 at the Sarasota Opera House.
Anyone with questions can email Noel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Performers at Trinity Lutheran Church Gospel Fest
A variety of performers, from gospel bands to spoken word artists to praise dancers will perform at Gospel Fest, held from 5 to 9 p.m. on July 27 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2200 26th St. W.
- The Sarasota Gospel Temple Band
- The Gospel Choir of the University of South Florida
- Lenz Dalusma, spoken word
- Shaquess Mapps, singer
- Mandy and Adleine Frederic, singing and praise dancing
Source: Joyce Noel