Sun | May 29, 2022

Sugar Cane Ball expected to hit $75m goal

Published:Sunday | February 27, 2022 | 12:08 AMJanet Silvera - Senior Gleaner Writer

The happiness was evident on Hanover Charities’ chair Katrin Casserly and hotelier Josef Forstmayr’s faces at the Hanover Charities annual Sugar Cane Ball at Round Hill Hotel and Villas on Saturday, February 19.
The happiness was evident on Hanover Charities’ chair Katrin Casserly and hotelier Josef Forstmayr’s faces at the Hanover Charities annual Sugar Cane Ball at Round Hill Hotel and Villas on Saturday, February 19.

WESTERN BUREAU:

A red-and-white Austrian flag stood tall, depicting the Vienna opera theme which embraced the food and fashion that created the mood for the 2022 Hanover Charities (HC) Sugar Cane Ball.

Montego Bay’s Tai Flora transformed the exquisite Round Hill Hotel and Villas venue with elaborate floral decorations, complementing the European theme adopted by the organisers, whose eyes are set on raising no less than $75 million (US$500,000) for the charity this year.

And HC chair Katrin Casserly was quick to point out that the ambitious target was very possible, owing to the fact that she did so in 2021, when the event wasn’t even staged. Those who have supported the charity over the years opened their hearts in the middle of the pandemic and gave handsomely.

Last Saturday night, with a marked decrease in the number of attendees and absolutely no advertising, owing to the restrictions under the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA), Casserly, who said they wanted to be respectful to the times, also noted that within 40 minutes of the live auction, auctioneer Rachael White Young had convinced the mainly American millennials to fork out US$150,000 towards the cause.

Persuasive in her antics, White Young offered up an impressive catalogue, which included premium tickets to any Arsenal home football match of the 2022 season; two nights at Villa Bamidele, the newest accommodation attraction on Jamaica’s south coast; an Insiders’ Austria package of 10 nights’ accommodations at high-endhotels, curated by ball chairs Josef Forstmayr and Casserly; and the opportunity of a lifetime to have one’s name on the Container of Love, which will bring in goods valued at US$100,000 for the needy.

Hanover Charities manages one of the largest scholarship programmes in Jamaica, providing educational opportunities for youngsters, many at the university level.

Other general projects they oversee are a soup kitchen that feeds thousands annually and a tablet programme that, Casserly says, assists teachers, children, and parents. The charity event has become somewhat of a legacy project for the children of shareholders at Round Hill.

EMBRACING EFFORT

Ideally, they grew up watching their parents supporting the historical event, stated Casserly, and they themselves have now embraced the efforts wholeheartedly.

Companies such as J. Wray and Nephew have also treated the event as a legacy project, sponsoring the bar each year with premium liquor during the cocktail hour. Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College put forward their classical musicians, and a host of organisations and people donated auction items.

Again, Ralph Lauren’s US$5,000 Madison Avenue shopping experience was up for grabs; seven nights at Bumper’s Nest and Infinity villas at Tryall Club titillated the appetite; Susan Clare’s mixed-media watercolour art piece was perfect for the art lovers; and the over water bungalow suite at Sandals was the icing on the cake.

With hundreds of auction items to choose from, Sugar Cane Ball 2022 delivered far more excitement and hope than one could anticipate during a pandemic.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com