The Soldiers of Christ – Dane Smith and Deacon Donald Simmons – held out for as long as they could before announcing that their Mother’s Day Gospel Brunch had to be canceled this year.
Originally scheduled for Sunday, May 10 at the McCoy Convention Center, it was billed as an inexpensive event to celebrate women in general, and mothers in particular. The $25 ticket price included a brunch menu feast and a special lineup featuring keynote speaker Minister Tiffany Smith of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, singing M.C. Dorothy Wagstaff, and musical guests David Vaughn and Sandra Simmons.
“I’ve come to accept that it’s really been canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis and the government’s limit on the number of people who could assemble” noted Dane. “I was hoping things would get better.” Canceling it, he continued, was the only option.
“We didn’t want to feel that we were the reason for anyone getting sick due to attending the event. It would have very possibly put a lot of people in jeopardy.”
Dane, the well known founder of Godfather Promotions, is a semiretired concert promoter. “The last concert I did was The Stylistics in 2015” he recalled. He teamed up about a year ago with Deacon Simmons of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, who brought his spiritual connection with the faith community to the collaboration.
Together they formed Soldiers For Christ to implement their shared vision of producing events for the faith community. The Mother’s Day Brunch would have been the first such venture.
“I feel that you have to believe in what you promote,” continued Dane.
Because it was a charity event, perhaps the duo’s biggest disappointment was not being able to donate proceeds from the profits to three select community organizations – among them, The Buffalo Peacemakers.
The brunch was cancelled – not rescheduled – because the health crisis created so much uncertainty and sent so many mixed messages, making it difficult to set a future date.
“The future?” said Dane. “It’s a hard call at best.”
Dane said they had been blessed with support from the community and expressed thanks and gratitude to the following: The Challenger , Mandella Markets, Flowers & Center Pieces By Jamye, Rev. David Boyd Spiritual Advisor Christ Temple Assembly, Mr. Johnny Robinson, Oakk Room Catering, McCoy Convention Center, The Criterion, The Ink Spot, Marcus Brown President of Juneteenth, Sugar’s Catering, Studio 117 Sounds By Ted Price, Minister Jerry Pitts Special Assistant, Buffalo Peacemakers, and God Father Promotions.