Durham County

Kool & the Gang to celebrate Durham Mayor Bill Bell

Durham Mayor Bill Bell, pictured in a 2014 Durham Triple Play Long Ball baseball league ceremony, will be back at the Durham Athletic Park in October for a fundraiser concert celebrating his legacy.
Durham Mayor Bill Bell, pictured in a 2014 Durham Triple Play Long Ball baseball league ceremony, will be back at the Durham Athletic Park in October for a fundraiser concert celebrating his legacy. newsobserver.com

Durham Mayor Bill Bell hasn’t left office yet, but there’s already a big bash planned to celebrate his legacy, and Kool & the Gang is coming.

Sheila E., too, and Morris Day & The Time.

All will perform at “HEROES in the Park” on Oct. 27.

Bell’s term ends in December. He has served as mayor since 2001. He began his political career on the Durham County Board of Commissioners in 1972.

Kool & the Gang, the funk band that has also been around since the 1970s, is known for songs like “Celebration,” “Get Down On It” and “Ladies Night.”

Performers also include YahZarah, Marlon Jordan, John Brown, Rebirth Brass Brand, Durham Medical Orchestra and Durham Children's Choir.

“HEROES in the Park” includes dinner and will be held at The Rickhouse and the historic Durham Athletic Park from 6 p.m. to midnight Oct. 27 and billed as “Opening Night in the Park: A League Under the Stars” for “engaged leaders and philanthropists.” The “HEROES” host committee includes Duke University men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Tickets start at $50 and are available at heroesinthepark.com. Sponsors include Nederlander, the New York City theater company that operates the Durham Performing Arts Center; Capitol Broadcasting, Durham Magazine and others.

The event webpage states that “HEROES in the Park” will “serve to impact and inspire social good through extraordinary experiences – committing to acts bigger than ourselves, supporting the next generation of HEROES dedicated to making a difference.”

The fundraiser will benefit the Bill & Judith Bell Foundation and Save the Children – Hurricane Harvey Relief.

The foundation will “expand resources for individuals, programs, organizations and initiatives that confront challenges and provide solutions in the areas of the arts, education, early childhood development, affordable housing, healthcare and poverty – helping to improve the foundation in which every person gets an opportunity to live an active, healthy and productive life.”

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: 919-419-6563, @dawnbvaughan

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