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JCC Charity Ball: A Black Carpet Affair

Published:Sunday | November 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM

JCC charity ball: A black-carpet affair

With elegant dresses and suave suits, it was bright lights, flashing cameras and strike-a-pose action at the annual Jamaica Chamber of Commerce's (JCC) Civic Affairs Grand Charity Ball.

This year was a true black-carpet affair as specially invited guests experienced a myriad of photo opportunities while being treated to a night of enchantment.

Companies and socialites made their graceful way to The Jamaica Pegasus hotel two Saturday nights ago, to indulge in the event's festivities.

The cocktail segment, which officially began at 7:30 p.m., actually started the minute you walked into the lobby area. Of course, this was one of the perks of arriving early.

During the night, those in attendance took the opportunity to get acquainted and reacquainted with each other.

By 8:30 p.m. ladies and gentlemen were asked to enter the Inside the Grand Jamaica Suite and the mingling frenzy continued at respective tables until the charity ball formally got under way.

Sameer Younis, chairman of the JCC's Civic Affairs Committee, gave his audience a rousing welcome. This 33rd staging was one to be thankful for, because proceeds from the night's affair went to the chamber's inner-city youth leadership programme.

A graduate of this programme, Tanisha Chambers, lauded the initiative for transforming her life from a girl to a woman, a better citizen, sister and friend. Showing that the ball was indeed worthy, Chambers spoke about her qualifications, received through the programme. She has achieved level-two qualifications in computer programming and is now a teacher.

In the middle of the festivities, the audience stood in silence to salute the stalwart of the JCC, the late Francis 'Paco' Kennedy, who dedicated the latter part of his life to helping the chamber fulfil its mission.

Of course, this was not a damper on the proceedings as this was a night of celebrations.

The formal aspect of the evening was short and sweet by nature, making way for more fun and imbibing.

But before the audience was ushered on to the dance floor, Master of Ceremonies Dr Aggrey Irons got the ball rolling and had the sophisticated crowd in stitches with his wit and banter.

Dr Irons opened the floor for an hour of dancing, with live selections from the veteran band Fab 5.

With one couple setting the trend and keeping the floor 'warm' and ready, other couples slowly but surely followed suit. Hand to hand, cheek to cheek, partners swayed to What a Wonderful World under the exquisite chandelier.

Fab 5 lived up to their name and gave an electrifying performance, visiting songs from the late John Holt and other greats from yesteryear.

Guests were treated to an array of libations during the dancing segment. For those seeking replenishment, liquid encouragement or those who would much rather drink than dance, there was a drink for everyone.

After working up a sweat, the guests returned to their seats to feast on a scrumptious dinner.

The likes of scallops on a bed of salad, delights of beef and fish and rum pudding topped with Irish cream sauce had guests salivating for more.

The night's festivities continued with post-dinner entertainment by songstress Aisha Davis and crooner Jermaine Blake. After thrilling solo performances, both joined forces onstage to deliver their rendition of A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera's Say Something, which left the audience speechless.

The well-entertained audience, which was again invited to take the dance floor, was then given some 11 gifts from sponsors, including round-trip tickets from American Airlines, Delta and Caribbean Airlines. Tickets to upscale hotels and resorts were also included among the fabulous prizes.

All in all, the six-hour event was a beautiful night to remember.