New York based Jamaican Charity Children Of Jamaica Outreach(COJO) host Annual Scholarship Gala on World Aids Day

Jamaica AIDS Support For Life Annual Drive “Project Smiles” Among This Year’s Beneficiaries

NEW YORK, NY – October 29, 2007 – On Saturday, December 1, 2007 the New York based Jamaican charity Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) Inc. will hold its 13th Annual Scholarship Gala at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, LaGuardia Airport at 8:00 pm.

This year’s gala coincides with World AIDS Day and to this end, COJO has selected Jamaica AIDS Support for Life and in particular “Project Smiles” as one of its benefactors this year.

Project Smiles, operated by Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, is a programme aimed at supporting children who are infected or affected by HIV. While the programme seeks to compliment the Orphans and Children made Vulnerable by HIV Programme (OVC), it goes beyond the customary approach by seeking support for the overall wellness of children.

Founder and Chairman of COJO Gary Williams sees the partnership as significant adding that it builds on the organization’s commitment to positively impact the future – our children. COJO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in New York, whose mission is to help improve the health, education and general well being of underprivileged children.

Over the past decade, the volunteer-driven organization has supported a number of institutions in Jamaica and the United States. Among them are the Alpha Boys’ Home; Glenhope Place of Safety; Marigold Child Care Centre, Musgrave Girls’ Home and City of Refuge in Jamaica; and in New York, the Jamaica, Queens YMCA and Leaf of Life.

Jamaica AIDS Support for Life Board Chairman Ian McKnight welcomes the support of COJO for “Project Smiles,” noting that while the activities are usually scaled up during the month of December, the programme operates all year to assist in the provision of school supplies, clothing and other items. The theme of World AIDS Day this year is “Leadership,” and while lauding COJO on its community leadership, Mr. McKnight, stressed that a commitment will be sought at the highest level and from various sector leaders to effectively address the issue of HIV/AIDS.

A number of corporate entities include jetBlue and Virgin Atlantic Airways have donated airline tickets as raffle prizes, with Sandals Resorts International and other Jamaican properties providing hotel accommodation.

Tickets for the annual gala are on sale now and can be obtained by contacting the Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) office at 1-888- 275-0121.Support COJO and help put a smile on a child’s face. For further information about COJO including sponsorship opportunities, visit www.cojokids.org. Online donations are now being accepted.