‘For the Children’ NY gala delights for a worthy cause

June 5, 2024

article reposted by Chelsea

via jamaicaobserver.com

The ISSA Trust Foundation has raised close to $60 million towards completion of a First-World paediatric and adolescent health centre in St Ann, following last month’s For the Children Gala at the exquisite Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.

However, the organisation is looking to secure another $155 million towards its ambition of developing a First-World medical facility in the region.

The upscale, Byzantine-inspired ballroom in the heart of Manhattan played host to a glamorous meeting of philanthropy, high fashion, tasteful entertainment, and gastronomical delights, as familiar faces, celebrities, donors, and well-wishers gathered together to make their contribution towards the vision.

“We decided that we would try to hold a fund-raising event in the United States to get the Diaspora involved in our current effort to build the Mary Issa Paediatric and Adolescent Health Centre in St Ann. This is the second such event we’ve held in New York and, if things go according to plan, we will alternate years between our concerts in Ocho Rios and our galas in the States,” said Paul Issa, chairman of the Issa Trust Foundation.

“The event was a spectacular evening, if I do say so myself — the venue, the ambience, the food, the fantastic performances. It has increased awareness up there of the work we are doing down here, and provided additional funding for ongoing construction of the health centre.”

Construction has already started on the Richmond, St Ann, facility which will provide expertise in cardiology, nephrology, gastroenterology, oncology, and mental health support for the children and teens in Jamaica’s north coast area. Other services will also be offered such as vision screening along with free glasses.

Issa shared that the charity is aiming to raise US$1 million ($155 million) over the next 12 months to get the facility completed and operational.

“So it’s an ongoing target and, as always, we rely on the generosity of our corporate sponsors and individual donors,” added Issa.

Diane Pollard, president and CEO of the Issa Trust Foundation, underlined the importance of the development of the health facility in the region.

“Our facility will be the first health centre to specifically cater to children and teenagers, offering paediatric health care and adolescent services to the youth of the Ocho Rios general area, with a holistic approach that considers not only the physical but the mental and social support for our young people,” Pollard said.

Meanwhile, Issa added that plans are inb train for the next event.

“Our ‘For The Children’ concert will be held next May in Ocho Rios, and this time we are thinking of making it a two-day event. We have raised quite a bit of money from the concerts over the years, as they are very popular events,” he said.

The For The Children New York Gala attracted some of the biggest names in reggae, as attendees were treated to an intimate and hits-laced combined set by the legendary Luciano, Third World, and Gramps Morgan with Kumar also delivering an unforgettable experience that was also highlighted by gourmet dining and a silent auction.

In addition to Issa and Pollard, remarks were also delivered by Lady Allen, wife of Governor General Patrick Allen; and Juliet Holness, Member of Parliament. New York City Mayor Eric Adams also declared May 11, Issa Trust Foundation Day in New York in honour of the foundation’s fund-raising efforts.

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