Chester Francis-Jackson, Contributor
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is not only quite familiar with the conditions and plight of those caught in the cycle of despair, but having come from the people and being of the people, and having risen to the highest levels of our political establishment serving in various capacity in government, understands their limitations.
It is in this light that she has made it her personal mandate to seek to empower her own inner-city constituents by providing them with greater educational opportunities. In doing so, she has endorsed the framing and launching of the Portia Simpson Miller Foundation - a non-profit foundation, whose primary mandate is that of providing greater educational opportunities for the educationally proficient and capable, but financially challenged, as well as the day-to-day welfare of the needy, indigent and even those temporarily challenged by dint of circumstances.
Well, on Friday evening of last week, the Portia Simpson Miller Foundation, with its team of able and capable leaders drawn from the private sector, under the chair of Zein Issa-Nakash, hosted its third annual fund-raising gala reception at the upper St Andrew residence of businessman Junior Dabdoub, and for my word, what a stellar do it proved!
Dears, to begin with, it rained cats and dogs all afternoon and way into the evening, the skies holding just before the scheduled starting time for the much-anticipated affair. And so anticipated was the event that guests started arriving long before the stated hour of 7 p.m. for the commencement.
Anyway, my dears, the Dabdoubs' Norbrook home is indeed one fabulous study in regal tropical living, complete with all the tropical splendour expected of fine living, as the home boasts spacious grounds and recreational nooks that make for entertaining. And that it was last Friday, as, indeed, corporate Jamaica and the world and his wife turned out at sixes and nines in support of the Portia Simpson Miller Foundation fund-raising effort.
And dears, little wonder here, as indeed, in an era when many questions are being raised by supposed charities, the unimpeachable record of assistance and accountability, including providing scholarship assistance that helped with the education of an attorney-at-law, a medical doctor, and its most recent recipient being a doctoral candidate in the field of dentistry, you all know we are talking a pre-eminent foundation here.
And that's the way it is my dears, and so it was last Friday evening, as guests poured on to the lawns and poolside of the Dabdoubs' residence in support of what was truly a most eminently worthy cause, it made for a simply fabulous outing, as indeed with two heart-warming testimonials from two of the foundation's beneficiaries, it made for an even warmer occasion and then some. Among those out sharing in the warmth of the occasion were Patron Prime Minister The Most Hon Mrs Portia Simpson Miller and husband The Most Hon Errald Miller; former PM The Most Hon P.J. Patterson; Foreign Affairs Minister Senator A.J. Nicholson; Minister MP Bobby Pickersgill; Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding; Information Minister Senator Sandrea Falconer; Minister of Culture MP Lisa Hanna and the dapper Richard Lake; Senator Norman Grant; Mayor of Kingston Senator Angela Brown Burke; State Minister MP Richard Azan; State Minister of Sports MP Natalie Neita-Headley; MP Raymond Pryce; MP Mikael Phillips and the simply stunning Shelley Hendrickson; MP Dr Dayton Campbell.
Chinese Ambassador His Excellency Zheng Qingdian, who made a surprise donation of $300,000 to the foundation; head of the EU delegation, Her Excellency Paola Amadei, and hubby Jorge Garzon; Deputy British High Commissioner Julia Sutherland and husband Duncan Sutherland; Tunty Barrett; Professor Errol Morrison and Dr Fay Morrison; Professor Dr Winty Davidson; Mrs Sandra Aris; the venerable Eddie Shoucair; the esteemed Michael Ammar Sr; the revered Sameer Younis; the affable Milade Azan; the celebrated Abe Dabdoub; Igor Dorofeev and his fabulous wife, Elena Dorofeev; JPS Co's Kelly Tomblin & hubby Steve Morgan; Dr Michael Banbury; Prakash Vaswani; the legendary Jesse Hogg; Len and Debbie Hamilton; Richard Burgher and daughter Keisha Burgher; KIA Motors' Dwight Moore; James and Christine Wood; Anthony Pearson; Cathy Nunez; Dawn McNaughton; Kemel Allen; Jack Shirley; Don and Janice Wint; Mignonette Reynolds; Lavern Parchment; Dr Shane Alexis; Leslie Chang and his sibling Jamie Chang; Chris Berry and wife, the lovely Dr Patricia Yapp, and her sibling the simply stunning Felice Campbell, visiting from Florida; James and Jackie Lechler; John and Gabrielle Azar; Nancy Gobin Gunther; Andrew and Paula Pairman; the engaging Marilyn Bennett; Alex Chin; the charming Pamela Redwood; Klaus Hetman; the lovely Allison Peart; Garth Hinchcliffe; the fab-looking Sonia Rickards; Jevaughna Johnson; Dr Tamara Foster Jennifer Armond; the lovely Pauline Archer; businessman JP Whyte; Eric and Marcia Moo-Young; the charmingly fab Dollis Campbell; entrepreneur and activist Ian Lyn.
Members of the organising committee: chairperson, the fab Zein Issa-Nakash and hubby businessman Christopher Nakash; businessman and former Chair Steve Ashley; Host, the affable Junior Dabdoub; the esteemed Steve Khemlani; the venerable Elon Beckford; Betty Barrett-Thompson; Michael Vaccianna; the charming Jennifer Edwards; celebrated musician Grub Cooper; the lovely Makeda Ramgeet; Jackie McGregor; and the celebrated Senator and trade unionist Lambert Brown; plus a number of others.