The Jamaican Inaugural Ball, in support of the David “Wagga” Hunt Scholarship Fund under the Distinguished Patronage of the Jamaican Ambassador to the United States of America, Stephen Vasciannie was a night of elegance, food, dance and a portrayal of Jamaican athletics history and culture.
In attendance were dignitaries, such as the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the Jamaican Embassy, Cherryl Gordon; US Ambassador to Jamaica, Pamela Bridgewater and her husband; New York Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke and her mother, former New York Congresswoman, Dr. Una Clarke; Honourable, non-executive Chairman of GraceKennedy Limited, Douglas Orane. Unfortunately, Ambassador Vasciannie, was not able to attend because of a prior agreed engagement, however, DCM Cherryl Gordon read his message.
The National Education Association (NEA) building in Washington, DC, was the location for the event. The NEA Atrium, with granite floors, soaring ceiling and beautifully-lit trees, served as the building’s focal point and had the perfect ambiance and settings to host, such an exquisite event.
There was an Olympic Village showing highlights of Jamaican Olympic greats from the past and present, such as Hon. Herb Mckinley, George Rhoden, Arthur Wint, Donald Quarrie, Merlene Ottey to Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and others. Donovan Marks and the Rainforest Band, with Michael “Silky Schloss did the live performance entertainment. In addition, DJ Wilton “Prentice" Williams was spinning a wide array of music to the joy of the dancing crowd. It was a formal affair with many men wearing tuxedos accompanied by an abundance of beautiful and elegantly dressed women. It was a night of fun and quality entertainment. The turn out was wonderful and the theme was to celebrate the second inauguration of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. The crowd really had a great time doing it.
Christopher Hunt and his Committee Members, Michael McPherson, Lloyd Anderson, Garth Pottinger, Loxley O’Conner and coming from Jamaica, Arnold “Dullo” McDonald did a wonderful job of preparation of a well-organized function. Everything went smoothly with the speeches and the presentations moving at a speed that was acceptable to the ladies whose main interest was to enjoy the music on the dance floor.
The sponsors came out in full force and great appreciation is due to them for their support. There were GraceKennedy, Victoria Mutual Building Society, 4 Seasons Party Cruise, Seasons Culinary Services who provided the food, Negril Jamaican Eatery, Dr. Norman C. Smith MD, 876 Café, and Bert Smith & Co., a Certified Public Accountants & Management Consultants Firm.
The patrons had a great night of fun and by observing the many that passed by me at the time the event ended, the constant message I was hearing is they had a great time. The event was a great success with most talking about next year. Funny that many believe it will be an annual affair. I have relayed the message of passion and joy I got from doing a quick sample of the crowd response to the night to my schoolmate and friend, Christopher Hunt. I know it takes hard work, time and dedication, but, I am asking on behalf of the "sample" which was a good representation of the attendees that this should be an annual David “Wagga” Hunt Foundation Ball.
I am hoping I am not too presumptuous but something this good and well received should be an annual affair. The ladies were consistently asking if this was going to be an annual affair or what time next year will be the date. For me, the only requirement is for the date to be set so that it does not conflict with anything on the KC or Calabar entertainment calendar. This was a function of excellent standard regardless of what measurement one uses. The sponsors were great. Christopher Hunt and his committee are worthy of all the praise the attendees bestowed on them. With all sincerity, I give them an A+ for a job well done. It was obvious the amount of hard work and professionalism put in it, “Wagga” would be proud of this function, as the committee members should be as well.
An annual function such as the David “Wagga” Hunt Foundation Ball will serve a positive multi-purpose. It will further enhance the foundation’s mission of helping needy kids from both Kingston College and Calabar High School further their educational development and become contributors to the building and growth of the Jamaican society. While at the same time offer another platform for the Jamaican Government to enhance the exposure of the Jamaican culture and rich traditions to members of its Diaspora, friends and well wishers.
This year there was an Olympic village. Next year, the theme could be the cultural heritage and beauty of Jamaica organized and sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board and Jamaica Hotel Association.
Many are looking forward to the next David “Wagga” Hunt Foundation Ball. So Christopher and the Committee Members, there is no turning back, you have opened the palate of too many to not feed them. Prepare to continue the hard work because many ladies (and gentlemen) are looking forward to next year as we speak.
Robert Taylor is a member of Fortis 78 KC Old Boys