July 29, 2021

Community News

Grammy-Nominated Maestro Ricardo Scales, Juan Escovedo, Lenny Williams, and More Headline Fundraiser @ Jones Memorial UMC to Fight Pediactric Cancer
July 13, 2021

Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises San Francisco~Dallas Community Spotlight~~

Grammy-Nominated Maestro Ricardo Scales, Juan Escovedo, Lenny Williams, and More Celebrate

Historic Jones Memorial UMC Assistant Pastor Kenneth Watson to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

The Friday July 23rd  bash is a party with a purpose.

For Ticket Information Call: 415 305-1338 or 510 485 8550.

San Francisco- Historic Jones Memorial United Methodist Church hosts piano virtuoso Ricardo Scales and friends with his "Get To Know Me" concert series combined with a gala dinner for three-time cancer survivor, San Francisco native and  Assistant Pastor Kenneth Watson.  The Friday, July 23rd "Get to Know Me Concert" and Gala Dinner is a party with a purpose as Minister Watson's birthday is celebrated as a fundraiser to bring awareness and funds for cancer research.

The celebration kicks off at Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 1975 Post St., in San Francisco, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  Led by Senior Pastor Harold Gordon. Jones Memorial UMC is the second oldest Black church in San Francisco, and is known for its educational, cultural, and social service food programs.  The programs assist San Franciscans outside of the walls of the church flowing into neighborhoods across the City.

As a former Olympic boxer himself and trainer of champions such as NABO Junior Welterweight  Champion Karim Mayfield, Minister Watson knows a thing or two about taking on challenges and formidable opponents.  He raised his daughter Ebony, as a single parent, and is now the grandfather of three,  Jonah, Anaya and Noah. Noah passed in 2018 at 18 months old due to a rare form of pediatric cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma.  Minister Watson has decided to dedicate his 65th birthday to raise funds for Pediatric Cancer research in honor of Noah.

"Losing our dear Noah to cancer before he was old enough to fight for himself, gave me a strong resolve of faith to do what I can to help other children and families fight cancer, " said Minister Watson.  Although built and trained as a fighter, Minister Watson's family, friends and Church family members, describe him as a kind-hearted and caring spirit."

"I love people and I love helping people and there's no better place for me to celebrate life than at Jones Memorial where my grandparents, Andrew "Bo" Larkin and Eloise Larkin, who helped raise me dedicated their lives to worshiping God," added Minister Watson.

It was the people of Jones Memorial that stood with Minister Watson after his tour of duty as a U.S. Marines Boxer. He notes he understands the disappointment of athletes deprived of their opportunity to compete in the Olympics  due to the 2020 Pandemic.  With the recent headlines about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Minister Watson is reminded of the denial to compete in the Olympics in 1980 when then President Jimmy Carter boycotted the U.S. from the Olympics due to Russia's invasion of Afghanistan.

Minister Watson's love of boxing began at Joseph Lee Recreation Center in the BayView Neighborhood as his mother, Edna Watson, who he says was his "best friend," enrolled him into boxing to deal with anger issues fueled by racial injustices he saw and experienced growing up.  Minister Watson said his brush with the law that landed him in California Youth Authority was the result of his hitting a White bus driver who spit on him.  Minister Watson experienced what too many young Black men during the sixties experienced, difficulty getting out of the judicial system loop once you are caught in the dragnet. Minister Watson credits his grandmother's leadership in having his juvenile record expunged so that he could join the Marines where his Joseph Lee Recreation Center training opened many doors.  His knockout of highly acclaimed Olympic team trial Champion Charles Carter, within seconds of the first round landed him the top spot on the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team.

"It's because of what I had to go through in life that I give boxing training to young folks" said Minister Watson.  "Having survived cancer three times, it's my purpose to inspire others and to give back to make a difference and so with the help of Ricardo (Scales) and friends I'm celebrating life with a birthday fundraiser."

In addition to boxing as a passion, Minister Watson is a car show enthusiast.  He enjoys driving and showcasing his Bentley  Flying Spur  in car shows for charity.  Minister Watson celebrated his birthday with the purchase in 2020.  This year his birthday present will be to raise funds and awareness to help stop pediatric cancer.

The public is invited to attend the "Get to Know Me Concert and Birthday Celebration" for Minister Kenneth Watson, Friday, July 23, 2021 at 7 p.m.  Grammy-nominated Maestro Ricardo Scales along with Lenny Williams, Juan Escovedo and other special guests headline the birthday concert.  Scales began the "Get to Know Me' concerts at Jones Memorial UMC in the December 2019 just prior to the Coronavirus pandemic   The colors for this fundraiser are gold and white, "gold" represents Children's Cancer Awareness and "white" represents purity. 

For Ticket Information Call: 415 305-1338 or 510 485 8550.

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