JIS News

The Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, in association with the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), will on Friday, October 3, stage a fundraising dinner, dubbed: ‘Dining with Stars: Under the Stars’, at the Strawberry Hill Hotel in St. Andrew.
The event is being staged to raise funds to assist the JAAA track and field athletic development programme for the forthcoming year, and is also part of the planned activities to honour the exploits of the island’s Olympians at the recent Beijing Olympics.
All athletes, coaches and administrators who went to China, are expected to be in attendance at the fund-raiser, which commences at 7:30 p.m., and will have as guest speaker,Attorney-at-law, and Director of the United States-based Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA), Kendal Minter.
The dinner is being sponsored at a cost of $1 million by Scotiabank, through its subsidiary, Scotia Private Client Group.
The sponsorship cheque was presented to Information, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister, Olivia Grange, today (September 30), by General Manager of Scotia Private Client Group, Bridget Lewis, during a media briefing to announce details of the event, at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices.
Miss Grange thanked Scotiabank for the gesture, and informed that the money would be used to offset all attendant costs and expenses to stage the event.
“What we attempted to do here is to get everything at cost and cover those..so that the JAAA would come out that evening, with a figure that is free from all expenses. Scotiabank, through the Scotia Private Client Group, agreed to cover all the expenses to the tune of a million dollars, and we do appreciate that gesture,” she said.
“It…highlights all the work that you (Scotiabank) have been doing over the years, and we truly appreciate it. It is a great public sector/private sector partnership, and I look forward to this kind of relationship continuing with the JAAA over the years, because it is through the athletes who fall under the umbrella of the JAAA, that all this glory and honour has come to Jamaica,” Miss Grange said.
In her response, Ms. Lewis said her organisation was pleased to be associated with the event. “It is our responsibility, as part of corporate Jamaica, to ensure that we place our support squarely behind sports and our athletes, to ensure that the tenets of discipline and excellence displayed at the Olympics…permeate all aspects of our society,” she said.
President of the JAAA, Howard Aris, noted that Scotiabank’s gesture “sets the example to other corporate entities to follow…by supporting our athletes.” He pointed out that, over the years, the task and cost of preparing athletes for international meets have been “very daunting.”
“The Minister has been very kind enough to allow the JAAA, a little window of opportunity within her tight programme for our athletes celebration… and for that we are thankful. It is important, because the Olympics are now behind us. But those very athletes, in exactly a year from now, or less, will be representing Jamaica at the World Championships in Berlin, and therefore the preparatory work must begin from now,” he said.
“That is why we feel it is important, not only to highlight the outstanding performances and the great feeling that we had, but we must now plan to look ahead to see if we can maintain and sustain this high level of performance by our athletes,” Mr. Aris added.
Sales and Marketing Manager for Jamaica and the Caribbean, for the Island Outpost Group, of which Strawberry Hill Hotel is a member, Melissa Eldemire, was equally elated that her organisation is involved in staging the event.
“We are so pleased to be having this event at Strawberry Hill and, obviously, we think that there couldn’t be a better place for it. The Island Outpost Group, has a history of connecting to the roots of Jamaica and Jamaican culture… the talent of Jamaica. So this ties in beautifully, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to honour our athletes, and to raise money for the new year for the development programme that the JAAA has put together,” Ms. Eldemire said.