KINGSTON — International reggae artist, Orville “Shaggy” Burrell, was awarded the International Humanitarian Award 2011 of the American Friends of Jamaica, Inc. (AFJ), Saturday April 9, for the efforts of his Shaggy Makes a Difference Foundation.
Making the presentation at the annual Peacock Soiree, at Jungle Island, Miami, President of the AFJ and former US Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Sue M. Cobb, said Shaggy had personally demonstrated the power that comes from the act of giving.
The artiste, humbly, accepted the prestigious award, explaining that he was carrying out his duty as a Jamaican national, and doing something “near and dear” to his heart.
He explained that during visits to the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston, he was taken back with how much was done with so little, by the medical professionals. To date, the Shaggy Foundation has been instrumental in raising more than US$1.5 million for the children’s hospital located in Kingston, as one of its philanthropic projects.
The Foundation, Shaggy and a team of volunteers, including business associates, have consistently been making monetary and physical contributions to the institution.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the USA, Her Excellency Audrey Marks commended Shaggy, whom she described as one of her favourite artiste, for his blossoming role as a philanthropist.
She said this indicated not only a generosity of spirit, but also a sincerity of purpose, that Jamaicans at home and abroad must emulate.
Ambassador Marks, on her first official visit to South Florida, pledged to work with the Diaspora for Jamaica’s national development.
Since its inception in 1982, by former US Ambassadors to Jamaica, the American Friends of Jamaica has raised over US$11 million, and has continued to support national charitable and social programmes aimed at improving the lives of Jamaicans.
Activities of the AFJ are supported by US corporations with commercial interests in Jamaica, members of the diplomatic corps, the Jamaican Diaspora and the Jamaican private sector.
Entertainment was provided by the famous Mento Band , the Jolly Boys. Highlight was a surprise rendition of ‘Carolina’ by Shaggy, backed the Jolly Boys.
Also attending the event were Jamaica’s Consul General, Sandra Grant Griffiths, Director of Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), John Lynch and Deputy Director, JTB Miami, Donnie Dawson.