WASHINGTON — Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, will pay a two-day official visit to Rochester, New York, from Saturday, July 23, to Sunday, July 24, 2011.
The Ambassador, who is visiting Rochester at the invitation of the Rochester Jamaica Organisation (RJO), will deliver the keynote address at the 5th annual Independence Ball to commemorate Jamaica's 49th year of independence, on Saturday, July 23 at the airport Holiday Inn, in Rochester, New York.
In an interview with JIS News, President of the RJO, Joel Frater, said the gala is also an opportunity to join with the wider Rochester community and share a vibrant social and cultural experience, “that we know many are curious about and long to learn about – the music, the food, the nostalgia and the festivities."
Mr. Frater noted that this year, the RJO will recognise renowned Jamaican-born, internationally acclaimed Founder, Artistic Director and President of the Garth Fagan Dancers, Garth Fagan, for his outstanding contribution to the arts for over 40 years.
The President pointed out that funds raised from the annual ball over the years, have been used to make charitable contributions to several organisations in Jamaica, including the Rose Hill All-Age School in Manchester and the Edna Manley School for the Visual Arts, where an annual scholarship is awarded.
On Sunday, July 24, the Ambassador will attend the annual Jamaica Independence church service at the Genesee Baptist Church, where she will deliver the independence message.
The RJO was formed in 2006 to provide a network to allow access to resources that will positively impact social conditions of Jamaicans in Jamaica and in Rochester. Just over 12,000 Jamaicans reside in the city of Rochester.
By DERRICK SCOTT, JIS Reporter