FORT LAUDERDALE – June 18, 2008 – Entrepreneur, business leader and new author Marguerite Orane kicked off the official US launch of her book, Free & Laughing, on Saturday, June 14 at the South Regional/ Broward Community College (BCC) Library. The launch, a literary, jazz/reggae brunch, was complimented by select book readings, dance interpretations and music by acclaimed Jamaican musician, Leslie Butler. The event, which was being staged in recognition of Caribbean American Heritage Month, was well-attended by the South Florida Diaspora and Marguerite’s fellow Wolmerian Old Girls.
Attorney Dahlia Walker-Huntington, host of the popular legal talk programme, Your Legal Corner, which airs during Independent Talk on Power 106, welcomed the audience of close to 100 persons to the event by discussing the importance of recognizing the Caribbean’s culture and influence on American society. Reverend Easton Lee blessed the event and spoke about his long time association with the Orane family. The readings then went into full swing with Marguerite reading popular chapters such as Bombay Mango and My Toenails, while accompanied by her sister, Carole, a Principal Dancer with the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), danced beautifully for an engaged and lively crowd. A teary-eyed Marguerite spoke lovingly about her mother, Daisy, who recently passed away and for whom the book was written. She also discussed the six central themes of Free & Laughing: being present in the moment, laughing at oneself, release, acceptance, trust and love, as a means to living a more fulfilling and enjoyable life.
To conclude the event, audience members were asked a series of questions stemming from presentations made. Gift baskets were awarded courtesy of event sponsors Grace Kennedy Foods Inc. and Western Union. Other sponsors included Jamaican Dawta, Communications and Business Solutions Ltd. (CBS), Tropical Rhythms, South Florida Caribbean News, National Weekly, JahNet’s Jamaican Cuisine, Growth Facilitators and Broward County Libraries.
On Sunday, Marguerite served as a guest speaker at Reverend Lee’s Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Miami Gardens. In recognition of Father’s Day and to emphasize Reverend Lee’s message for the service, Marguerite read an excerpt from ‘Fruit Don’t Fall Far From Tree’ to highlight the essential role fathers play in guiding their children and instilling morals and values. After the service, during the church’s Father’s Day brunch, Marguerite sold books and signed copies for members of the congregation.
Free & Laughing is a poignant journey exploring the extraordinary impact of “everyday” experiences. Inspired by her 89-year-old mother’s heartening approach to life, Marguerite was driven to share her beliefs on love, acceptance, trust, and personal development on her popular blog, Marguerite Musings; highly-personalized thoughts manifested in her current book. In writing her book, Marguerite embarked on a personal journey to evaluate her own views about life and explored our exceptional ability to love, to live and to laugh!
Free & Laughing has been heavily promoted through a number of events and media features in Jamaica. The book made quite a debut at the December 17th launch at Red Bones Blues Café by attracting a number of Jamaican political figures and top business leaders including the Governor General His Excellency Sir Kenneth Hall and his wife Lady Hall, as well as Wayne Chen, CEO of Super Plus Supermarket, Carlysle Hudson, owner of the Mother’s restaurant chain, Thalia Lyn, CEO of Island Grill, and JMMB Director Donna Duncan-Scott. Since bursting on the scene in 2007, Free & Laughing has been featured on “CVM @ Sunrise”, TVJ’s “Smile Jamaica” and Michael Anthony Cuffe’s show ‘Both Sides of the Story”. To date, copies of the book have been presented to several foreign dignitaries including US Ambassador Brenda LaGrange Johnson, Canadian High Commissioner Denis Kingsley, Mexican Ambassador Leonora Rueda, Chinese Ambassador Chen Jinghua, as well as top education officials such as UWI’s Vice Chancellor, Professor E. Nigel Harris. Future promotional activities for Free & Laughing include book signings
and additional courtesy calls.