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This past Saturday evening, December 16, 2006, Mike May had the pleasure of joining Stevie Wonder on the stage of the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles, along with 15 stars, to present a GPS from Sendero Group, a BrailleNote from HumanWare and two KNFB readers from Kurzweil and the National Federation of the Blind. Three students were selected to receive these devices. Stevie and Mike acknowledged the tremendous value of these tools in their own lives and announced that they hoped this was only the beginning of their efforts to bring the reading and navigation independence of this technology to more blind people.
Mike said, “When Stevie invited me to his party, I asked what I could bring. With one email to Ray Kurzweil and another to HumanWare, I had arranged for a generous donation of $13,000 of access technology in support of Stevie’s effort to bring joy and independence to under privileged youth. I was joined by Dirk Marais of HumanWare at the concert to hear a line-up of incredible performers. After leaving the stage in front of 6000 people, Stevie was kind enough to keep me by his side and to boast about the technology to his friends and family. This benefit certainly embodied the title of his most recent album, A Time to Love.” Listen to House Full of Toys audio clip
Special guest artists included Al Jarreau, Brian McKnight, COMMON, Tyrese, Corinne Bailey Rae, India Arie, Danny Carreras, Donald Lawrence, Gary Taylor, Yolanda Adams, Chris Tucker and more.
Past performers have included Alicia Keyes, Angie Stone, Babyface, Doug E. Fresh, George Duke, Arie, Jamie Foxx, Jill Scott, Jonathan Butler, Joss Stone, Kanye West, Karen Clark Sheard and Kierra “Kiki” Sheard, Kem, Kim Burrell, L.D. Miller, Luther Vandross, Macy Gray, Maroon 5, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Nelly, Raphael Saadiq, Raul Midon, Ruben Studdard and Ziggy Marley–along with dozens of others.
This was the 11th year that Stevie’s House Full of Toys Benefit Concert has been one of the highlights of the holiday musical season. In the past ten years, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of toys, computers, games and educational aids have gone to children, families and organizations in need.
Stevie Wonder and his friends are committed to a celebration that will let the world know that they care.
For several years, Stevie Wonder’s We Are You Foundation has made a generous Christmas donation to the Junior Blind of America. As in the past, Stevie attended the Junior Blind annual Holiday Festival, personally bringing Holiday cheer to the children and their families. Information about the organization is available at Junior Blind Website
Stevie Wonder’s House Full of Toys Benefit Concert-goers are asked to bring an unwrapped gift of joy to the concert. Stevie Wonder’s 11th Annual House Full of Toys Benefit Concert is a Wonder Productions and Hammond Entertainment event. For further information, go to House Full of Toys Website