JIS News

GraceKennedy & Company Limited and Western Union International will be honoured by the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) at the organization’s 24th annual benefit gala to be held on November 5 in New York.
Both companies are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Jamaican society, particularly in the area of education.
“We feel very happy this year to be honouring two world-class corporations that have proven their commitment to development in Jamaica,” said President of AFJ and former United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Glen A. Holden.
Last year, GraceKennedy and Western Union joined forces with AFJ and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide mathematics textbooks to Jamaican children island wide.
This donation is estimated to have benefited more than 300,000 elementary-school pupils and was publicly acknowledged by the Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson.
This year, Western Union and GraceKennedy Remittance Services have pledged US$100,000 each toward a similar objective. Again, the USAID and the American Friends of Jamaica will participate in the programme.
Meanwhile, the black tie event, slated for the Copacabana in midtown Manhattan, is expected to get underway at 6:30 p.m. with a silent auction, where resort vacations, jewellery, and artwork from Jamaican artists such as Ras Dizzy, George Rodney, Ewan McAnuff and Khalil Deane, will be up for sale.
Funds raised will go towards supporting Jamaican charities. “For nearly a quarter of a century our gala has successfully raised funds for Jamaica and we are proud to continue that tradition,” said Keisha Phipps, Chief Operating Officer of the AFJ.
Supporters of this year’s 24th charity gala include Ralph Lauren, Jockey International, Air Jamaica, Spirit Airlines, Sandals, SuperClubs, Round Hill, Half Moon, Appleton Rum and Jamaica’s Bijoux Jewellers among other businesses.
Established in 1982, the AFJ is a non-profit organization, which assists Jamaican charities in the areas of education, health care and economic development. American multinational corporations with commercial interests in Jamaica, American winter residents, and members of the diplomatic corps were early supporters.
Each year, the organization raises funds through its charity gala and distributes grants at a luncheon hosted by the United States Ambassador to Jamaica in Kingston. Past gala honourees include Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Jamaican-born billionaire and philanthropist Michael Lee-Chin, and actor and social activist, Harry Belafonte.