SPRING VALLEY, NY:
The Jamaican Civic and Cultural Association of Rockland, Inc. (JAMCCAR) celebrated Jamaica’s 50th Year of Independence and its 22nd Anniversary on Saturday, August 4.
Over 250 celebrants attended the black tie gala, which was held at the Sheraton Mahwah, in Mahwah, New Jersey. Herman G. LaMont, the newly appointed Consul General of Jamaica to New York was the guest of honour.
During his remarks, LaMont outlined the three-plank objectives of his post and shared his reflections on Jamaica’s Golden Anniversary — fifty years as an independent nation since gaining independence from Great Britain on August 6, 1962.
He also congratulated JAMCCAR on its twenty-two years of service to Rockland County and surrounding areas, noting that, “ JAMCCAR has earned the admiration, respect and support of our American friends, neighbours and authorities.”
Each year, JAMCCAR offers scholarships to graduating high school students who are college-bound, with academic accomplishments, extra-curricular activities, community services and commitment to continue to strive for excellence.
LaMont lauded JAMCCAR’s long-standing commitment to educational advancement and focus on the youth. He, along with New York State Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, Rockland County Legislator Toney L. Earl, Rockland County Legislator Aney Paul, Spring Valley Mayor Noramie F. Jasmin, Town of Ramapo Town Clerk, Christian G. Sampson, were among the dignitaries who were on hand to acknowledge and greet the recipients of JAMCCAR’s 2012 college scholarships.
The six college-bound high school graduates who received JAMCCAR scholarships to further their education are: Nicole Asamoah, Kyle Blair, Jevaun Grant, Kayla Jack, Brianna Nelson and Isaiah Williams.
Reflecting on the significance of the scholarship awards, a highlight of the gala, Andrea Osborne, chairperson of JAMCCAR’s Scholarship Committee said, “We thank each of you present tonight for supporting this event as it is the main source of raising funds for the scholarships we award each year.
We appreciate your helping to make a difference in the lives of our young people.” Jamila Hall McKnight, a Co-MC for the gala event and a former JAMCCAR scholarship recipient (1996), gave a ringing testament to the effectiveness of JAMCCAR’s scholarship awards programme.
She outlined the cultural and educational benefits, and warm support she derived from her membership and association with JAMCCAR as a young adult.
Hall McKnight, an attorney with Jones Day, and a former assistant United States Attorney, credits JAMCCAR for the role the organisation played in her educational and professional successes.
She told the audience in sum, “ I am proud to stand before you this evening as a product of JAMCCAR’s commitment to the youth. I urge you to continue supporting this worthy cause.”
Commenting on the evening’s celebration and scholarship awards, Millicent Johnson-James, president of JAMCCAR, said, “This year we adopted Jamaica’s official theme as ‘On a Mission’, and so we continue our primary focus on our youth.
She added, “We are thrilled not only to have Consul General LaMont as our guest of honour on the occasion of our 22nd Anniversary and Jamaica’s 50th Year of Independence celebration, but also to have him as a resident of our community. We look forward to working with him in a consular capacity and as a neighbour.”