Thu | Jun 29, 2017

COJO - 20 years strong

Published:Sunday | December 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM
From left: Priscilla Standard and Jackie Shand arrive at the COJO 20th Annual Gala at The Hilton JFK.
The dapper Wayne Cummings is greeted by the lovely Carrole Guntley.
Dalbert Daley is presented the 2014 COJO Philanthropy Award by Gail Moaney. Both Dalbert and his wife, Vilma, were honoured for their exemplary COJO spirit.
Paulette Taylor is awarded the COJO Team Award by Chairman and Founder Gary Williams.
CEO of Transcontinental Express Shipper, Robert C. DeSouza, receives his COJO Team Award from Chairman and Founder Gary Williams.
Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson presents the 2014 COJO Community Service Award to Mark A. Crawford.
Richard Anthony Lue is presented the 2014 Visionary Award by COJO board member Sharon Locke-Stoney.
.Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson presents the 2014 COJO Visionary Award to Wayne Cummings, accepting on behalf of Sandals Resorts International.
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Davina Henry, Staff Reporter

NEW YORK:

Accomplishing 20 years as a charitable organisation is no easy feat, yet the Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) has remained faithful to its vision of improving the lives of children in need through education and health care, and has been able to accomplish so much for so many of the nation's children.

With this in mind, hundreds of patrons turned out to the annual charity gala at the Hilton JFK in New York. Undeterred by the pouring rain, patrons donned fabulous gowns and suits and quickly made their way into the ballroom.

Earlier this year, four scholarships valued at more than US$20,000 were awarded to students.

COJO's commitment and passion to provide new avenues and opportunities for many less-fortunate Jamaicans was lauded by the guest of honour, former Prime Minister Percival James Patterson.

"Never lose sight of the significant contributions that Jamaicans overseas have made an continue to make to the social and economic well-being of our country," Patterson stated.

Patterson also commended COJO for being a welcome source of social investments.

"You have played an important role in the growth of our country. Although you live and work in the USA, quite sensibly, you have never turned your back on the land of your birth because 'nuh whe nuh better than yard.' Nuff respect due."

He added that COJO should be applauded for providing opportunities for children in need to develop their full potential.

"Special mention must be made of the Alpha Home For Boys. Over the years, they have produced a galaxy of stars. Who knows who are the people who will now rise from the Alpha Home to be musicians of top brass."

But the Alpha Boys' Home isn't the only
organisation to benefit from COJO's benevolence. Maxfield Park
Children's Home, Garland Hall Children's Home and the New Vision Child
Care Facility have been impacted by the altruistic spirit and generous
support of COJO.

By now, attendees were anxious to get
on to the dance floor. But the waiting period was delayed for a short
while as the 2014 honourees were announced. They included Robert C.
DeSouza and Paulette Taylor, who each received the COJO Team Award. The
Community Service Award was presented to Mark Crawford, while the
Philanthropy Award went to Dalbert and Vilma Daley. Sandals Resorts
International was presented the Visionary Award.

With
the formalities over, patrons quickly made their way to the dance floor.
The DJs certainly did not disappoint as attendees did the electric
slide before moving on to more uptempo reggae and soca hits, until the
wee hours of the
morning.

Photos by Raymond Simpson