JIS News

Story Highlights

  • This prestigious event will bring together just over 1,500 Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica
  • Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency, Professor Stephen C. Vasciannie will be the guest speaker
  • This year’s proceeds will provide full scholarships for needy students to attend the University of the West Indies

Jamaica’s independence celebrations in the New York tri-state area will come to a climax on Saturday, August 17, when the Jamaica Independence Celebration Foundation, Inc (JICFI) stages the annual Independence Ball in commemoration of Jamaica’s 51st year of independence.

This prestigious event will bring together just over 1,500 Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica at the New York Hilton Hotel in downtown Manhattan, where the island’s colors, and music will be on display.

The ball, which is being held under the distinguished patronage of the Consul General of Jamaica to New York, Herman G. LaMont will have as its special guest speaker, Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency, Professor Stephen C. Vasciannie.  Noted Jamaican actress Sheryl-Lee Ralph will compere the event.

Two distinguished Jamaicans, Heather Foster, Office of Public Engagement at the White House, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Answorth A. Allen, along with Irie Jam Media, will be honored this year. Patrons to this year’s ball will dance to music provided by the Fabulous Five Band.

Speaking at the media launch held at the Jamaican Consulate in New York, Chairperson of the JICFI, Paulette Willoughby said that over the years, proceeds from the ball have been used to support several organisations.

Among them are the New York City Rescue Mission, Good Shepherd Foundation, Early Childhood Foundation, Ward Theatre Foundation, Boys’ Town Foundation, Alpha Boys’ House, American Foundation of the University of the West Indies (AFUWI), American Cancer Society, Mission for the Poor and Mustard Seed Communities.

Ms. Willoughby informed that this year’s proceeds will provide full scholarships for needy students to attend the University of the West Indies, as well as support for an early childhood institution.

The JICFI, a non-profit organisation, dedicated to celebrating Jamaica’s independence, seeks to bring together Jamaicans in the Diaspora to a signature ball, held in New York annually. The gala will showcase Jamaica’s food and culture.

Contact: Derrick Scott