Butler’s jazz concert to benefit a single parent
A NIGHT OF INSPIRATION
WHAT: Jonathan Butler concert
WHEN/WHERE: Sept. 15; Lee Hall
WHY: Sugar Daddy benefit
NOTE: Sugar Daddy Foundation will give a single parent financial assistance. Nominate one at https://goo.gl/forms/egTqYYUoOjS43uyJ3
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
When Leila Huewitt got word that the Sugar Daddy Foundation will give her and other single parents an opportunity to get some financial assistance, she couldn’t find words to describe the possibility.
“I don’t know how to put the appreciation into words,” she said. “I feel in my due time things will come.”
Huewitt, who lives in Orange Avenue Apartments, is mother of five children ages 4 to 10. She’s had to fend for herself and the children since she and their father divorced shortly after she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Melaine Williams, an Atlanta-based attorney with the federal government and a colonel in the Army National Guard, founded the Sugar Daddy Foundation a year ago. The impetus came from having grown up in a single parent household after her father died in a boating accident.
Williams also is owner of Peach Communication, an entrepreneurial project that she’s used to stage benefit events for children in the past in Atlanta. She’s bringing the next Sugar Daddy benefit event to Tallahassee with a concert that features jazz guitarist and singer Jonathan Butler.
The show takes place Sept. 15 at Lee Hall. During the weeks leading up to the concert, Williams’ Sugar Daddy Foundation will launch a campaign to nominate single parents for financial assistance from a portion of money raised from the show.
Williams is a self-described giver, who said she’s often handed out grocer gift cards in stores while shopping.
“As you get older, you learn yourself a lot more,” said Williams, who has been in the National Guard for 33 years. “I just love to give. I’ve been blessed to give to people. When I give to somebody, that just blesses my heart.”
Not only that. She can empathize with single parents. She endured her mother’s struggle to raise her and a brother in Charleston, S.C., after her father’s death.
“I remember having holes in my shoes,” she said. “I would come home and the lights would be off. She would say, ‘they’ll be on tomorrow.”
Huewitt’s circumstances aren’t much different. While she is living in low-income housing, she has been unable to get disability assistance. A case for child support is ongoing, she said.
On top of having to raise her own five children, up until recently she took in one of her siblings’ six children. With her mother, who also has her own health challenges, that brought her household to 13 in a four bedroom apartment.
“It was nerve-wrecking for me,” said Huewitt, who holds an electrical engineering degree from FAMU. “I was overwhelmed. As I walked around the house, the whole single-parent thing began to settle in.”
Huewitt reflected on when she was the one who volunteered and gave to others. It’s not a certainty that she will be the one to get assistance from the Sugar Daddy Foundation.
But she is hopeful.
“Maybe,” she said, “karma will be kind to me.”