Lighten the Load gospel CD to benefit sickle cell disease

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September is going out on a high note, culminating with a week of high, anointed praise throughout the city. Not only has September been declared as Gospel Music Heritage Month–the first year this effort has been celebrated–but also, this mont

September is going out on a high note, culminating with a week of high, anointed praise throughout the city. Not only has September been declared as Gospel Music Heritage Month–the first year this effort has been celebrated, but also this month is proclaimed annually as Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Unfortunately, this is a dreadful disease that seems to affect African Americans and the month is used to educate as well as to inspire those who have the disease. As always, The Be Sickle Smart Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Program will host their annual "Lighten the Load" gospel CD release party. This year’s celebration brought "American Idol" winner and R&B singer, Ruben Studdard. The music project is the 2008 Edition of "Lighten the Load," CD which features inspirational music from some of the finest church choirs in the country as part of the competition where each choir receives a $2,000 donation toward their ministries.

It also includes an important message about iron overload and about a test for this dangerous condition that affects some patients that allows patients to receive blood transfusion for sickle cell disease.

The two finalists that were chosen in Chicago were the Latin Pentecostal Church singing "Great is Your Love" and the Grace Then Beauty Ministries featuring Sharon Pulliam singing "All of Me."

“My cousin had it (sickle cell) and died at 12 years old, so this is very dear to my heart,” said Pulliam. “I love to minister for causes because it’s more effective because you are going where people need you. People are not necessarily coming into the four walls of the churches.”

Also, to add to her busy schedule and list of charitable causes, the founder of Grace Then Beauty Ministries said, “I am one of the spokespersons for the University of Illinois for Living Donors. And I’m also going to be going out on the Midwest Barack Obama Campaign Trail. We’ll meet up with him at some of the rallies. I’m so happy to be a part of this history making event so whatever I have to do, I’ll do it to make it happen.” Without a doubt, Pulliam is moving full speed ahead and making it happen.

To find out more about the "Lighten the Load" CD and Be Sickle Cell Smart, visit http://www.askaboutiron.com.

On the home front, Kim Stratton will star in the comedy stage play "Meet the Goldbergs," from the producers of the hit comedy "Sistas is Sistas Part II" written and produced by Kay Sandra Hunt who also stars in the play. The play runs through Sunday at McCormick Theater IIT. For more information, call (773) 523-8330.

Congratulations to Darwin G. Jackson & Praise Ministry getting ready for a Night of Intense Praise! The talented singer/musician has a lot to shout about since losing over 189 pounds this year. On Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., at Martin Temple AMEZ Church, 6930 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Jackson and special guests Rodney Williams & Nu Wine as well as Reggie Royal and Judah will intensify the praise. For more information about this free event, call (708) 450-9022 or visit http://www.praiseministry.net.

Liberty Baptist Church, 49th and King Drive, is gearing up for their Annual DLDZ Choir Concert that honors the church’s founder and pastor.

The concert will take place on Sunday at 3:30pm. The members are preparing for a festive celebration of praise with guests including Sweet Holy Spirit, New Faith Baptist Church and Jackie McCoy. For more information, call (773) 268-6757.

“Remember you are Blessed by the Best!”

Effie Rolfe is the religion entertainment columnist for the Chicago Defender. Effie can be contacted at effie@theinspirationalcafe.com.

Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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