Jamaica Impact, Inc. (JAMPACT) made good on its promise to deliver a memorable evening at its annual C.H.I.C Benefit Gala at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music. From a breathtaking rendition of the national anthem to impassioned commentary on the need for greater support for Jamaica’s youngest and brightest, the evening was not short on highlights.
With over 100 guests in attendance JAMPACT and its honorees proceeded to highlight the critical role that quality Early Childhood Education must play in strengthening the island nation. Various speakers pointed to the famed High-Scope Perry Preschool study that indicated that for every $1 invested in early childhood education there is approximately a $16 return to society.
A few notables in attendance included Consul General of Jamaica Honorable Herman G. LaMont (the event’s Honorary Patron), Community Service Honoree CIN TV’s President Stephen Hill, Keynote Speaker and Impact Award Honoree Paul C Brunson, Founders’ Award Honoree UJAA’s President Karlene M. Largie, Golden Krust’s CEO Lowell Hawthorne and Mrs. Lorna Hawthorne, Trans-Continental Express Shippers’ CEO Robert C DeSouza, and Casting Director Winsome Sinclair.
While the more recognized names in attendance received the greatest attention before the event, it was a ballet performance by 6 year old Evelyn Diaz that almost stole the show. The performance exemplified the promise and potential that JAMPACT reminded the guests that every child possessed and which needed to be nurtured especially in a child’s early years.
Brunson captured the spirit of the tireless efforts of the JAMPACT organization when he spoke about what he termed ‘sacrificial giving’. “Sacrificial giving is when you give something you don’t have” Brunson noted. This is the giving of time, effort, resources that power organizations like JAMPACT.
DeSouza, the event’s Master of Ceremonies and an ardent JAMPACT supporter, expertly brought the evenings program elements together, weaving in timely storytelling and commentary. Musical selections from reggae group the Ruff Stuff Band kept the atmosphere lively.
JAMPACT gave credits to its sponsors for making the evening possible including but not limited to Trans-Continental Express Shippers, Burgher Gray Jaffe LLP, Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grille, Blake & Associates P.C, The Kimberly Hotel, Grace Foods, and Caribbean Food Delight.