March 16, 2012
George Pinder obviously has Lady Luck on speed dial. He put in a call to her at just the right time and she came through for him big time with two fabulous trips in a five-hour span. Pinder won The Nassau Guardian and Star 106.5 FM's top prize to Jazz in The Gardens - airfare for two on Bahamasair, hotel accommodations at the StayBridge Suites, four concert tickets and a rental car - as well as a one-week trip to Anaheim, California.
Actually, Lady Luck had a hand in only one of those trips. The trip to California was as a result of sheer hard work. The Colina Insurance employee won the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table Award (MDRT), which is recognized internationally as the standard of sales excellence in the life insurance and financial services business.
Because he was receiving his MDRT award, Pinder arrived at the Jazz in The Gardens drawing more than 40 minutes late, which left the two other finalists Larisa Johnson and Nicole Smith to cool their heels and sweat it out to see who would walk away with that.
As Star radio personalities Tony Williams and Greg Lampkin threatened to go ahead with the drawing, allow the two women to pick and just give Pinder the third prize due to his lateness, Pinder, who was still hyped about winning his trip to California, pulled up at the drawing done at the Bahamasair Oakes Field location, hopped into the fray and pulled his number. It turned out to be the ticket for the grand prize. Pinder scooped the two young women out of the all-inclusive coveted top prize.
"I don't leave the master out of things. I owe it all to him, but today was my lucky day from the time I woke up this morning," he said after he realized which prize package he had pulled. "I'm having a pretty good day."
The insurance agent, who is looking forward to seeing Patti LaBelle, will be taking his wife Jillian Pinder with him to the concert.
Although bested for the top prize by Pinder, Larissa Johnson said she was still grateful for the prize she pulled. She left with airfare for one, and tickets for one to both nights of the concert, along with hotel accommodations.
"If it had been the third place prize I'd still be grateful, because in all things give thanks," she said.
Actually the third time was the charm for Johnson who entered for the past two and finally won. And she did her best to stack the box in her favor. She put in 14 entries from The Nassau Guardian, called in numerous times and e-mailed twice.
The draw for Johnson to the concert will be seeing Mary J. Blige and Patti LaBelle perform.
Nicole Smith who pulled the third place package had entered just two entries, through Facebook and via e-mail. She walked away with tickets to the concert and airfare.
"I still feel good even though I didn't get a complete package because I'm still going. And I'm looking forward to seeing Mary J. Blige and Jill Scott. I like Patti LaBelle too, but Jill Scott and Mary J. are my favorites."
It was Smith's first time putting in entries and she was more than happy to walk away with something.
Bahamasair representative Woody Wilson told the winners to be on time because the Bahamasair flights would be taking to the skies on time, ferrying people to the concert.
"It's going to be such a fantastic time. I've been doing Jazz in The Gardens promotions for three years, and I don't normally stay to the concert, but after last year, I'm going to make sure I stay this time. I just want them to expect a great flight, great accommodations and a fantastic time at the show. And to let them know that they're going to drive smooth in a car thanks to Dollar/Thrifty," he said.
Pinder, Johnson and Smith will rock out at the seventh version of Jazz in The Gardens, which is again expected to be memorable with the queen of rock and soul music, Patti LaBelle taking to the stage with the likes of one of the greatest singers of our time, in Mary J. Blige; an artist with a deep commitment to lyrical honesty and musical integrity, Jill Scott and a musician who caresses melodies and puts a lot of emotions into his solos, Kenny G.
Joining this stellar line-up on the Miami, Florida stage at the Sun Life Stadium grounds will be Kem, Ledisi, Kevin Eubanks, Doug E. Fresh, Nicole Henry and Ramsey Lewis, for the March 17-18 event, hosted this year by MC Lyte.
It's a concert Star 106.5 FM programming director Tony Williams said is not to be missed, even if you weren't a lucky Nassau Guardian/Star winner.
"People simply must be there because Patti LaBelle and Mary J. Blige will be there, and Kenny G. is returning. Three years ago when Kenny G. first performed, he was just awesome, so if you missed him then, this is your chance to catch him. I was blown away by him and people need to trust me, when I say they will be blown away by his performance."
The Jazz in the Gardens weekend is always fantastic, and a sight to behold, with at least 50,000 people having a good time.
"People would be amazed to see so many people in one venue having a really good time. It's always a lot of fun, and I just want people to join us there," said Williams.
JAZZ IN THE GARDENS
When: March 17-18
Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida
Tickets: $45-$195 at jazzinthegardens.com
THE LINE UP
Saturday, March 17
Doug E. Fresh
Sunday, March 18
Mary J. Blige
Click here to read more at The Nassau Guardian