By sheer coincidence and against tremendous odds, the Thirteenth Annual staging of the Mega Raffle Drawing organized by the Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (UJAA), proved to be the charm for Immaculate Conception High School Alumni Association – New York chapter.
And it took a rival alumni unit – Wolmer’s Girls Alumni to create the charm. Deputy Consul General of Jamaica in New York, Mrs. Tracey Blackwood, a Wolmer’s Alumna, picked the winning grand prize ticket (R-1539) from the huge (drum) container holding some 36,000 stubs, to hand Immaculate Alumnae Association its first grand prize winner in 13 tries.
With the exception of Dinthill Technical Alumni Association which sold two of the top six winning tickets – a rarity – the spoils were evenly shared, thanks in part to the mechanics of Hugh Lawrence (Mico), who insisted that the drum gets a fair shake (roll) after each ticket is pulled.
The top vendor/investor associations – in order – were: Immaculate Conception HSAA; Mannings PSA; Dinthill Technical (second & fifth); Cornwall College; STETHS and Glenmuir.
Karlene Largie, former president of ICHSAA and now President of UJAA, praised the overall success of the once cumbersome, lackluster event, on teamwork.
“UJAA’s 13th Annual Mega Drawing is in the history books. No way would it have happened without the participation and support of the 27 investor associations. We kept our promise by drawing the grand prize before midnight, all because of the team effort, from the emcee to the recorders and other volunteers. Everyone was on the same page,” she said with an air of satisfaction.
27 investor associations or approximately 60% of the membership of the Union supported the event, a fact not lost on the global economic crisis. President Karlene Largie assured the sold out audience that proceeds from the raffle will be used to fund a number of the Union’s ongoing and new projects.
In commending the union for its ongoing contribution to the education sector locally and in Jamaica, Deputy Consul General, Mrs. Tracey Blackwood noted that such assistance will make a difference for generations to come.
“I note with a tremendous sense of pride, your assistance to the national education programme, especially in the area of early childhood development through to the secondary level. Your support is critical, especially in these challenging economic times,” she said.
The Union’s ongoing projects include; a water tank initiative for basic schools in Jamaica; the High School Graduates Awards (USA); Penn Relays (USA).
Master of Ceremonies Irwine Clare, Sr., ensured there would be no hiccups during the raffle drawing which was watched by a sold out crowd at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Queens.