Seated: Curb Gardner, Ambassador Sue Cobb, Chris Blackwell, Ambassador Brenda Johnson, Standing – Glenn Creamer, Ambassador Audrey Marks, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Patricia Frances, Michele Rollins
With the fall charity circuit in full swing, The American Friends of Jamaica threw its glamorous black tie Hummingbird Gala at the Plaza raising over $400K. The AFJ presented the prestigious International Humanitarian Award to Mr. Albert J. Dwoskin and Mrs. Patricia Chin. The evening began with a cocktail reception featuring the “Golden Eye” made with Blackwell Rum. Guests were able to bid on an exciting silent auction collection including cruises, luxury vacations, art, sports memorabilia, food and dining, fine wine courtesy of Staggs Leap and more. A special three course dinner followed with pulsating live entertainment at this historic New York City landmark. AFJ President, Wendy Hart stated “We are here tonight for opportunity and for transformation to fund programs with impact that improve the lives of those they touch”.
Mark Vergnano, Betsy Vergnano, Mega Star Busy Signal, Andrea Kyan, Tommy Leonardi, Mark Newman
A special thanks to 2018 Hummingbird Gala sponsors include A. J. Dwoskin & Associates, VP Records, jetBlue, ADA Music 25 and Vanessa Noel. During the program, the AFJ launched its annual vignette showcasing the year’s work of transformative programs in Jamaica. The energy in the Grand Ballroom was electrifying as Dancehall Legend Johnny Osbourne, UK Singer and Songwriter Estelle, International Reggae MegaStar Tarrus Riley, TTO Band and Max Glazer took guests on an unforgettable musical journey through the years of reggae. “The Gala was an extraordinary opportunity to experience stellar artists in an intimate setting while showing support for the mission of the AFJ” stated AFJ Executive Director, Caron Chung. The annual New York Gala is an opportunity for the Diaspora community, supporters and friends with an interest in Jamaica to provide financial resources to vulnerable Jamaicans in the areas of education, healthcare and economic development. AFJ annual Galas attract diverse individuals who have special bonds of friendship with the people of Jamaica. Former honorees include Joseph Matalon, Chairman ICD, Vincent HoSang, President Caribbean Food Delights, Cecil Sam Wright, President Quality AutoMall, Bob Pittman, iHeartMedia,
Gary “Butch” Hendrickson, National Continental Baking Company, Lowell Hawthorne, GoldenKrust, Dennis Lalor, ICWI, Kenny Benjamin, Guardsman Group, Denis O’Brien, Digicel, Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Harry Belafonte and others. To date, the AFJ has presented grants of over US$14M. The AFJ demonstrates the power of collaboration to engage with and to support residents of underserved Jamaican communities.
For more information on how to support this worthy charity please visit: www.theafj.org
About the AFJ
Founded in 1982, the American Friends of Jamaica is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization built on the principles
of service and philanthropy and is established to give assistance in the areas of education, healthcare, and
economic development. The AFJ works in a collaborative effort with Jamaican organizations and stakeholders
to bring about change in the lives of Jamaicans who need a hand up. The AFJ has partnered in providing
shelter to the homeless, education to inner-city youth, healthcare to individuals and equipment to health
facilities. The AFJ annual grant cycle begins the first Friday in November each year and grants are disbursed at
the end of the first quarter in April the following year.