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Jun 21

Sickle Cell Association Honors Whitney Houston

(photo by Joseph Kyles) ­­­ Above Belinda Jones (l), Tyischa Davis (c) and Trashanda Billups (r) entertain the crowd at the local  Sickle Cell ­­­Disease Association’s   “Night of the Stars & Tribute to Whitney Houston” at the Deep Water  City Elk Lodge.

(photo by Joseph Kyles) ­­­ Above Belinda Jones (l), Tyischa Davis (c) and Trashanda Billups (r) entertain the crowd at the local Sickle Cell ­­­Disease Association’s “Night of the Stars & Tribute to Whitney Houston” at the Deep Water City Elk Lodge.

BY: Amber Vaughn

The Deep Water City Elk Lodge was standing room only, as the ladies of Expertise Entertainment in conjunction with the Sickle Cell Disease Association presented a “Night of Stars & Tribute to Whitney Houston”. A “who’s who” of celebrity impersonation performances ranged from Melanie Fiona to Beyonce, but the evening was definitely all about Houston.

Committed to packing the venue and raising money for sickle cell, the association’s president Walter Wallace said having Expertise perform was an automatic decision.“Expertise Entertainment to me is a unique group of ladies, that just grasp it and try to do something for the community.” Wallace continued, “The unique thing about these young ladies is that every dime goes to the sickle cell organization.”

Linda Hobbs a founding member of Expertise, who performed Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman,” said the group was originally formed to help a friend raise money for a competition. After winning the competition, Hobbs said the group was approached by the Sickle Cell Foundation and have been putting on shows with the Sickle Cell Disease Association since 2000.

Tyischa Davis, a member of Expertise since 2001, said the event was an opportunity to shed light on a disease so prevalent in the African-American community. “We’ve been doing benefit shows for Sickle Cell since I was part of Expertise… and sickle cell is in the black community so much, that we just try and raise awareness for it,” said Davis.

Emcees Travaliou Campbell and Nichole Peterson kept the energy going as DJ Aaron provided music for the evening.

Expertise, a group comprised of approximately 20 members, have done house parties, opened up for various blues artists and provided entertainment for Baptist Hospital’s Christmas parties. “We try to do a show where everybody is entertained, we have something for the young and the old.” said Hobbs.

The ladies of Expertise usually do two shows a year and are already working on something for Back to School at the end of October. To book Expertise Entertainment for your next event, please contact Linda Hobbs at (850) 208-1243 or Belinda Jones at (850) 281-2964.

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