Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Downtown neighbours partner in the hills

Published:Sunday | December 7, 2014 | 12:00 AMChad Bryan
File Joshua Chamberlain, head of Special Projects at the Alpha Institute.
Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer The Mercedes-Benz E300
Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer The Marcedes-Benz E200
Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, launched in September 2013 at Silver Star Motors' South Camp Road, Kingston, headquarters.
File Winston 'Sparrow' Martin of the Alpha All Stars.
Contributed Sloane Jackson, general manager of Silver Star Motors.
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Silver Star Motors, the local authorised distributors of the luxury brand Mercedes-Benz, has partnered with the Alpha Institute, its neighbour 'across the road' in downtown Kingston, for a silent charity auction. The proceeds will go towards the development of Alpha's vocational programmes.

"These include landscaping, music, screen-printing, and woodwork," said head of special projects at Alpha Institute, Joshua Chamberlain, who explained that Alpha was no stranger to silent auctions as the school had been involved in others previously.

ORGIN OF THE PROJECT

"This came out of a discussion, and it was a way to help the school utilise what Mercedes-Benz does best, which is sell vehicles," Chamberlain stated.

The auction is scheduled to take place today during regular Sunday brunch at the lush Strawberry Hill, which overlooks St Andrew and St Catherine from its perch in Irish Town.

A silent auction is one that requires persons to write their bids down on paper. A 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which is valued between $10 and $11 million, will be the vehicle on auction. The Mercedes-Benz GLA will also be on display.

"It's the very first time Mercedes-Benz will be doing a silent auction on a car, or anything that we have. We are trying to make sure that most of the proceeds go to Alpha. What we are hoping for is that more and more customers will bid on the car and bid above the cost. Yes, they are paying more significantly for the car, but it's not the car they are paying for - they are paying towards Alpha," said general manager at Silver Star Motors Sloane Jackson.

The E-Class has a beautiful interior with luxurious seats, a new-style steering wheel, and wood or aluminium decor that stretches along the entire dashboard. The vehicle comes either in its avant-garde or elegant form, the category determining the physical appearance.

"The car is fully loaded, either elegant or avant-garde. We will have the car on display. They can bid on the car, and then from there, they can decide which way they go," Jackson said.

Music at the brunch will be provided by the Alpha All Stars, a group of of professional musicians who are past students of Alpha. The band has been providing music at the Strawberry Hill brunch every first Sunday of the month.

Chamberlain thanked Christopher Blackwell, owner of Strawberry Hills, for his continued support of the Alpha Institute.