Sun | Jun 25, 2017

Third Rainforest Seafood Festival set to be 'legendary'

Published:Friday | January 23, 2015 | 1:00 AMDaviot Kelly
Rudolph Brown/Photographer Brian Jardim (right), chief executive officer, Rainforest Seafoods and Gary "Butch" Hendrickson (left), chairman Continental Baking Company, get a photo op with Beenie Man (second left), Stitchie (second right), Marcia Griffiths, Ding Dong (in yellow shirt) and Agent Sasco (sun glasses), at the 2015 Rainforest Seafood Festival press launch.
Rudolph Brown/Photographer Anthony Smikle (left), chief executive officer of Cornwall Regional Hospital poses with Brian Jardim (centre), chief executive officer, Rainforest Seafoods and Sandra Ledgister, Digicel's sponsorship executive at the 2015 Rainforest Seafood Festival press launch at Slipe Road in Kingston on Wednesday.
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If all goes to plan, this year's edition of the Rainforest Seafood Festival will be 'legendary'.

This because more than 25 of Jamaica's legendary food stops, including Little Ochie, Gloria's, Middle Quarters and Prendy's On The Beach will be showcasing their fabulous fare.

As Ernest Grant, general manager of Rainforest Seafoods, puts it, "We will be representing people from all over Jamaica."

Throw in scheduled performances from Jamaican music legends like Marcia Griffiths, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer and you can understand the theme. The festival is scheduled for Ash Wednesday, February 18.

"Even the most discerning palate will find something," Graham said at the event's launch at Rainforest's Kingston offices along Slipe Road on Wednesday.

REACHING OUT

The festival will be held at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay and, as is customary, proceeds will go to the We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital initiative. Started in 2011, the effort was launched by a group of concerned Montegonians, including Rainforest CEO Brian Jardim, who aimed to bolster the services and capabilities of the hospital, the only Type A hospital outside of Kingston.

Jardim noted: "If we're going to improve the lives of our people, Öwe all have to get behind Cornwall Regional."

In the inaugural year, organisers raised J$6 million, which purchased two ventilators for the Neonatal Unit of the hospital. Last year's event netted $8.25 million, which helped to renovate the minor operating theatres of the Accident and Emergency Ward. For the 2015 edition, organisers are hoping to donate $10 million to the hospital.

Cornwall Regional Hospital CEO Anthony Smikle said the purchase of a bronchoscope, a device used to see the inside of the airways and lungs, is one of the targets.

National Bakery's Gary Hendrickson, who was on board "from day one" and is still the biggest sponsor of the festival, said the event is a true reflection of Rainforest's spirit.

"I know where Brian's heart is. I know how he feels about his country," he said. "Thanks for having me on board this year again."

Sandra Ledgister, sponsorship executive at Digicel, another founding and platinum sponsor, marvelled that the festival was already in its third year. She said the telecoms giant will open a text line, 444-2488, so persons can pledge support to the We Care team.

daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com