NEW YORK (JIS) – The 2008 Jamaica Independence Awards will be presented for the first time to three New Yorkers who best exemplify the Jamaican spirit.
The presentations will be made at the grand Independence Ball on Saturday, August 16, 2008, at 6:30 pm at the New York Hilton Hotel & Towers, 1335 6th Avenue, Manhattan.
Student Donnette Annmarie Lee, a graduating senior with a near perfect GPA at Erasmus High School, Brooklyn; Community Advocate and social worker Evelyn Ruth Dyer; and Major (Retired) Victor W. Terrelonge, a surviving member of the fabled Tuskegee Airmen squadron, will be cited by the Jamaica Independence Anniversary Committee (JIAC) for their leadership and outstanding commitment and contribution to the Jamaican spirit overseas.
“The Jamaican Independence Awards Committee did a fine job in selecting from the nominations made by the community. These three outstanding human beings have demonstrated what we are capable of as a people. I hope that the community will come out to acknowledge them,” says Consul General Geneive Brown Metzger.
Despite her struggles against personal odds, Donnette has contributed to the academic pride of the Star Early College HS on the Erasmus High School campus, Brooklyn. Her work ethics and discipline are exemplary.
Moving to the USA from Jamaica at age 15 years in 1937, young Terrelonge graduated from the Tuskegee University (Army Air Corps) and saw action in the second World War and the civil rights war of the deep(USA) South.
Integration means a lot to Ruth Dyer. From helping members of churches and new families completing their citizenship applications, to assisting seniors with their benefits paperwork and organizing community health fairs, helping others comes naturally, opined one senior staffer at Time Inc, where she works.
The awardees were selected from nominations solicited from the community. Previously, persons honoured at the Independence Anniversary Ball were selected by the Consul General with the blessing of the organizing committee.
The Bare Essentials Band led by Errol Lee will provide live entertainment. Guest performers will include Richie Stephens and Sheila Hylton.
The Ball climaxes two weeks of activities and events across the Tri-State are, celebrating Jamaica’s 46th Anniversary of Independence from British colonial rule in l962. Events included an art exhibition at the Consulate on Friday, August 1, a flag-raising ceremony at the Brooklyn Borough Hall, Brooklyn, on Thursday, august 7, and a Thanksgiving Church Service at the North Bronx SDA Church, Bronx, on Sunday, August 10.