Singer Dionne Warwick arrives on St. Maarten

POSTED: 05/6/11 2:49 PM

“Domestic violence is a subject of vital importance”

St. Maarten – Dressed in blue jeans and sporting a baseball cap American singer Dionne Warwick arrived at Princess Juliana International Airport yesterday afternoon. Her easy smile promises a good humored keynote address about a very serious subject this Saturday at the annual evening of the Peridot Foundation: domestic violence.

Warwick, 70, was received with flowers by a delegation of the Peridot Foundation –founder Drs. Gracita Arrindell and her board members Amalia Elstak and Otmar Henrietta.

Warwick said that domestic violence is “a subject of vital importance” and that she found it impossible to say no to the invitation to come to St. Maarten. “Fortunately, I have no personal experience with domestic violence, but it is prevalent in the United States,” she said.

The legendary singer said that she gets frequent invitations to speak, but she added with a smile, “I’ve got to sing.”

Asked about a good tip for victims of domestic violence, Mrs. Warwick kept her gunpowder dry: “You’ll hear all about it on Saturday evening,” she answered.

Gracita Arrindell said that the contacts with Dionne Warwick had come about through a friend of her, Guy Draper. “He suggested her as a speaker because of her work for charitable organizations. I am excited that Mrs. Warwick has agreed to lend her voice to the cause of domestic violence.”

Arrindell said that the singer would make an announcement about her upcoming world tour on Saturday, and that St. Maarten could be part of her program. But when asked directly, Warwick said with a smile: If you’ll invite me.”

The singer said that, though she had visited many islands in the Caribbean in the past, this is her first visit to St. Maarten.

Warwick’s current tour schedule takes her to the spotlight 29 Casino in California on May 14, to Tokyo from June 1 to 4, and to Sweden in July. On September 3, she will perform at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Curacao.

Warwick’s song That’s What Friends Are For has raised millions of dollars for Aids research. During the eighties she was the US ambassador for Health and in 2002 she was named global ambassador for the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization FAO.

Before all that happens however, the singer will address the guests of the Peridot Foundation Saturday evening at the Bel Air Community Center about domestic violence. The evening begins at eight o’clock and admission is free.


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