JCC SAMEER YOU­NIS FOUN­DA­TION: 35 years strong

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOCIAL - Jody-Anne Lawrence LIFESTYLE REPORTER

FOR THE 35th stag­ing of the Ja­maica Cham­ber of Com­merce Grand Char­ity Ball, the ele­gant black-tie event main­tains it fi­nesse and warm­hearted ini­tia­tive.

Guests looked like they were ripped from the pages of a fairy tale as they glided into The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus ho­tel on Satur­day, Novem­ber 5. They were a sight to be­hold, and all for a wor­thy cause – the for­mal launch of the JCC Sameer You­nis Foun­da­tion.

The foun­da­tion (for­merly the Ja­maica Cham­ber of Com­merce Civic Af­fairs Com­mit­tee) has, for the past 35 years, worked to en­cour­age com­mu­nity growth. They have worked hard to live up to their mis­sion state­ment, ‘Em­pow­er­ing the cit­i­zens of our na­tion to cre­ate har­mony and to en­hance the qual­ity of lives in the com­mu­ni­ties they live in.’

They had even in­cor­po­rated the In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment and Pro­duc­tion now The Univer­sity Col­lege of the Caribbean to de­velop a youth lead­er­ship train­ing pro­gramme for youth lead­ers in in­ner-city com­mu­ni­ties, as well as mem­ber of the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary force.

In his speech, Chair­man Sameer You­nis noted that the pro­gramme was and re­mains tai­lored to pro­vide “train­ing in hu­man and in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ships, fam­ily life, anger man­age­ment, con­flict res­o­lu­tion and com­mu­nity lead­er­ship, while en­abling par­tic­i­pants to se­cure em­ploy­a­bil­ity skills””

The pro­gramme, which runs three days per week, has trained up to 4,000 per­sons. You­nis noted that this is a tes­ta­ment that the pro­gramme is hav­ing a pos­i­tive impact.

He added, “We (the foun­da­tion) recog­nise the role we must play in

en­gag­ing our young peo­ple to be the best they can be. This is in or­der to make Ja­maica a bet­ter place with a brighter future.”

Among the for­mal­i­ties was a brief speech by Prime Min­is­ter Andrew Hol­ness, com­mend­ing the JCC Sameer You­nis Foun­da­tion for their com­mend­able ef­forts over the past 35 years.

Though it was a char­ity ball, it was not all busi­ness, and lived up to its vi­brant rep­u­ta­tion. The duo We Can Dance en­ter­tained the crowd as they en­joyed their lovely four-course meal, then You­nis opened the floor with wife, Leila, as Fab 5 kicked the party into over­drive.

The char­ity ball would not be great with­out a cabaret per­for­mance and Gem My­ers floored au­di­ence with her boom­ing vo­cals. Guests sang along, while oth­ers rocked in their chairs.

It was then time for all to take the floor and dance the night away.

RUDOLPH BROWN/PHOTOGRAPHER

Prime Min­is­ter Andrew Hol­ness (left) in con­ver­sa­tion with (from sec­ond left) Min­is­ter of In­dus­try, Com­merce and Agri­cul­ture Karl Samuda; Warren McDon­ald, the pres­i­dent of the JCC; and Sameer You­nis, chair­man of the JCC Sameer You­nis Foun­da­tion.

PHO­TOS BY RUDOLPH BROWN/ PHOTOGRAPHER

The Reynold­ses – Bjorn and Kris­ten.

Mil­ver­ton Reynolds, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the De­vel­op­ment Bank of Ja­maica, and his wife, Mignonette.

Left:Boss Fur­ni­ture’s Omar Azan and his fab wife, Lezanne.

Las­celles Chin, founder and ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of the LASCO Group of Com­pa­nies, flanked by his wife, Dr Eileen Chin (right), and his daugh­ter, Lisa.

The lovely Ro­han and Janille Samuels.

Above: Op­po­si­tion Spokesper­son on In­dus­try, In­vest­ment and Com­merce An­thony Hyl­ton and his wife, Yodit.

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