David 'Wagga' Hunt Scholarship Foundation Annual Red Carpet Ball goes virtual

David 'Wagga' Hunt Scholarship Foundation Annual Red Carpet Ball goes virtual

Saturday, January 23, 2021

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THE premier fund-raising event of the David “Wagga” Hunt Scholarship Foundation (DWHF ), the Annual Red Carpet Fundraiser Ball, will be held virtually on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 7:00 pm and will be streamed live on YouTube.

The Red Carpet Fundraiser Ball joins a long list of events which have moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic. The spectacular evening will be held under the distinguished patronage of the Jamaican Ambassador to the USA Audrey Marks, and principals Dave Myrie and Albert Corcho of Kingston College (KC) and Calabar High School, respectively.

The approximately two-hour-long programme will feature the Calabar High School and Kingston College scholarship recipients alumni and parents. The public will get the chance to learn more about the programme through vignettes and carefully curated content which will showcase the institutions and the students under their charge.

The foundation will also honour two of Jamaica's distinguished sons and exemplars of excellence — Richard Pandohie, CEO of Seprod and a Calabar old boy and Rainford Wilks, professor emeritus, Caribbean Institute for Health Research and a KC old boy.

The David “Wagga” Hunt Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to deserving young men of KC and Calabar, two of Jamaica's finest secondary institutions. Since 2009 the scholarship initiative has funded students from grades eight through 13 by covering tuition, books, lunch and other school-related expenses. To date, over 30 scholarships exceeding $13 million have been awarded. Recipients are selected from a shortlist of nominees and must display commendable academic performance and deportment, be involved in extracurricular activities, and be deemed in need of financial assistance.

This year has proven to be a challenging one for students against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. Schools were forced to shift to online classes which students are struggling with in the new remote learning environment, with many being without the basic tools such as Internet connectivity and devices needed to access lessons. These setbacks have caused increased stress and concerns for both parents and students, alike.

The foundation has stepped in to alleviate some of these issues. In addition to the $2.1 million disbursed for the school year 2020-2021, each recipient was presented with a brand new laptop for a total value of $500,000. An amount of $2 million was also disbursed to facilitate the schools' technological upgrade of their equipment and framework, with each school receiving $1 million.

“Presenting our scholarship recipients with laptops was a major goal for us during this pandemic, and we are extremely happy to have done so,” said Christopher Hunt, chairman of the foundation and younger brother to the late David Hunt. “We are also thrilled to have been able to include the schools in our allocation, allowing them to create a more inclusive and advanced learning environment with much-needed technological and infrastructural upgrades.”

Patrons will be entertained by some of Jamaica's top reggae acts — Kabaka Pyramid, Fab 5 band, Paul Blake and Pam Hall, who have all donated their time to this worthy cause. Emcees for the evening are Leighton McKnight and radio broadcaster Dervan Malcolm.

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