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Gospel and a good cause

Every year, Marcus “Boogie” Williams hosts a pre-Valentine’s Gospel Explosion at the Suffolk National Guard Armory.

The event, which features gospel acts, an all-you-can-eat buffet and a nighttime of fun, helps fund toys and hams to be given to needy people in the community.

This year, however, 15 percent of the proceeds from the event will be given to Haiti earthquake relief, Williams said.

Next month’s event, beginning at 6 p.m. on Feb. 6, will feature 10 musical groups. It is the sixth annual pre-Valentine’s Gospel Explosion.

“We’ve been doing the fundraisers, giving back to the community and doing things,” Williams said. “Each year we have a big gospel concert, and we give back to the community.”

The event typically raises enough money to give 500 families a ham and give 600 families two toys, Williams said.

“Whatever’s needed, really, we try to participate and help out, whatever we can do,” Williams said.

The situation in Haiti after last week’s devastating earthquake has generated a quick response from people around the world with money and other critical needs. Williams is no different in his desire to help.

“There are kids and families who need help there,” Williams said. “My goal is to try to send money that way. We just wanted the public to be aware that we are having a fundraiser and what we’re going to do with the proceeds.”

Williams asked people who are free that night to come to the event.

“The more people who come out and support, the more money we can send,” Williams said.

Tickets to the event are $10. Call 513-0820 for more information.