Lovelette Brooks, Lifestyle Editor
Hitting the high notes of Gloria Gaynor's hit song, I Will Survive, cabaret singer Aisha Davis had sequinned and bejewelled women twisting and twirling on the dance floor of the Grand Ballroom of The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Saturday night (November 3).
The women danced, sang and endorsed the lyrical content of this song of empowerment while their husbands, dates and escorts watched in wry amusement.
Leading socialite, the Jamaica Public Service's Kelly Tomblin, the leader she is, was one of the first dancers to grace the floor, and it did not take much for other women to follow in her footsteps. It was rollicking good fun!
This was one of the high points of the 31st staging of The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce's (JCC) annual charity ball held on the first Saturday in November to symbolically herald the Yuletide party season.
Corporate luminaries came out in droves as is customary to endorse this charitable event, a major fund-raiser for the JCC Civic Affairs Committee. Proceeds from this year's ball, which was held under the theme 'Love and Respect to All', will go towards the chamber's inner-city development projects and the Civic Affairs Committee's family life and family values campaign.
Two beneficiaries of the project, Damian Daynor and Tracy-Ann Samuels, allowed for some pause during the night's proceedings. Both spoke eloquently about the programme and the many ways they have benefited from inclusion in training and development workshops.
"I have become a great woman ... . I no longer suffer from low self-esteem and I love life!" Samuels told the audience during quite an emotional speech.
Head of the Civic Affairs Committee, Sameer Younis, was as usual the dapper and perfect host, notwithstanding being jived by master of ceremonies Dr Aggrey Irons. Younis was called to the podium to speak about "his charity balls", which he did lovingly.
"Volunteerism … love and respect are among the fundamental pillars on which many strong and progressive societies and nations are built," he said.
Younis told his corporate colleagues that through the efforts of the chamber's Civic Committee, many lives have been improved and advanced in several inner-city communities deemed society's marginalised.
Younis was lauded with rousing applause for giving selflessly to the chamber, community and country, and for keeping faith in the nation's youth, for his personality, drive and dedication - all qualities that have helped to drive the growth of the much-anticipated annual event.The ball was held under the distinguished patronage of the governor general and his wife, but Sir Patrick arrived, noticeably, without the company of Lady Allen.
Entertainment was provided by Floyd Folkes and The Unique Vision Band. Both offerings were well received and the band skilfully kept the shine on the ballroom floor for the entire night.
Young diva Aisha Davis was very entertaining and engaged the audience as she ripped through hit after hit.
Altogether, it was a night well spent, and one in which Sameer Younis had it his way, again.
Among the corporate luminaries out for this signature social event were former Governor General Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Hall, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, Russian Ambassador Vladimir Polenov, USAID's Denise Herbol, Deputy British High Commissioner Julia Sutherland, Minister Phillip Paulwell, LASCO's Lascelles Chin, ATL's Butch Stewart, Bashco/MegaMart's Gassan Azan, Digicel's Andy Thorburn, Carreras' Richard Pandohie, Cari-Med's Glen Christian, Berger Paints' Warren McDonald, Facey Commodity's Michael Subratie; Mr and Mrs Eric Crawford, Mr and Mrs Bruce Scott, Allison Peart, Mr and Mrs Dennis Robotham and daughter Ashley, winners of the first gate firstname.lastname@example.org