Raffles van Exel, a music producer and promoter, became emotional after being asked the question.
If you could make one wish for the people of Ronald McDonald House, what would it be?
“Wow,” was all van Exel could say at first as he spoke with Brenda Escoto, director of marketing at Ronald McDonald House, which provides a family-style place to stay for families with children at home. ‘hospital.
“May we be here again next year,” van Exel said at the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House.
He was there to promote a song, “Why Oh Why,” which is about social change and features CeeLo Green and rapper French Montana, among other artists.
“It’s a labor of love,” said van Exel, a producer on the song.
He could definitely feel the love in the bedroom at Ronald McDonald House Bakersfield on the Memorial Hospital campus, where 20-year-old Evan Sloan received gifts and clothes from van Exel.
Sloan and his family have been part of Ronald McDonald House since he was a baby. He treated heart problems, as well as seizures and migraines, among other ailments. His mother, Christina, and father, Quincy, a firefighter, were unaware of the Ronald McDonald House when Evan was a newborn and spent a lot of money on hotel stays before discovering the charitable organisation.
“All these people here, I love them so much,” Evan Sloan said. “They have such joy and they have incredible hearts. Ronald McDonald House means a lot to me, so each one of these people is joyful to me and they mean a lot to me.
Representatives from local radio stations, van Exel and Ronald McDonald House staff helped select gifts and toys from a few stores for the organization’s children.
Evan Sloan pulled out presents from a bag containing cosmetology tools. He has aspired to be a hairdresser since he was 3 years old, he said.
He shared hugs with van Exel and others, including Leilani Shiu, an actress known for her work on “Obi-Wan Kenobi” (2022), “The Book of Boba Fett” (2021), and “The Mandalorian” ( 2019).
She was there to help support the song “Why Oh Why,” which was played on local radio stations, Shiu said.
The song begins with children singing in unison, “Why oh why can’t we get together? Why oh why must we fight forever? Let’s give peace a chance.”
The song also features Fantasia, Kenny Lattimore and Emily Estefan. Producers also include Narada Michael Walden and Emilio Estefan.
They are part of Artists for Global Unity (artistsforglobalunity.com), which includes children singing in unison.
Van Exel said the project was not created to make money for artists or producers. They help raise money for Ronald McDonald House and Doctors Without Borders, among other charities, van Exel said.