Hanover Charities Has A Lot on The Ball


Hanover Charities Has A Lot on The Ball

Sunday, February 23, 2020

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Last year Hanover Charities raised close to US$600,000 at its annual marquee fund-raising event, the Sugar Cane Ball. This year it set out to exceed that amount, and SO reckons it did.

Held over the US Presidents' Day weekend, the Sugar Cane Ball is one of the largest fund-raising galas on The Rock. The 63rd annual Sugar Cane Ball took place this year on Saturday, February 15, at Round Hill Hotel and Villas. The theme — Rio Extravangaza — celebrated the spirit of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. It was well attended by do-gooders from the US, Spain, England, Canada and Jamaica who are mindful of the needs of Hanover's disadvantaged residents.

Hanover Charities was established in 1957 and since then has been committed to helping the communities and residents of the western Jamaican parish. The organisation oversees several charitable efforts, including school feeding programmes, early childhood education, feeding the needy, caring for the indigent, providing health services and assisting promising tertiary-level students with financial aid. For the 2019 fiscal year, Hanover Charities allotted grants to over 60 school-improvement, community-building, educational and skills training and projects along with 191 scholarships for students in western Jamaica to attend (and continue studies) at tertiary institutions.

In addition to grants and scholarships, the foundation supports the Hopewell Sports & Community Centre, hosts an annual health fair, gives financial backing to the Westhaven Children's Home in the remote hills of Hanover, operates the Cecile Clare Kitchen of Love that provides 600 hot meals to the hungry, indigent, sick, and housebound in Hanover every Tuesday, and supports the Lucea infirmary.

Lot number four of the live auction — construction and naming rights for a pavillion and new kitchen for the Lucea Infirmary — was one hot-ticket item. Auctioneer Rachael White Young, who is the specialist and head of Post-War and Contemporary Morning Sale at Christie's in New York, is exceptional at her job. At certain moments during the live auction, it seemed as if she stared into the souls of bidders and convinced them to drastically up their bids. Fun fact: White Young raised US$175,000 in 10 minutes (four lots).

Watching White Young conduct lot four was a master class in auctioneering. It was, in a word, exhilarating. After the US$30,000 mark was crossed, two families bid head-to-head in an auction scene ripped from the screen. In the end, two families decided to jointly 'purchase' the lot for US$100,000. Ground is set to break at the Kovinsy, de Rose, Lewis Pavillion at the Lucea Infirmary later this year. The live auction was rounded out by a raffle, a silent auction comprised of over 80 items, and a boutique selling art, home décor, and jewellery.

During dinner Hanover Charities chair Katrin Casserly, Sugar Cane Ball chair Christy Montgomery, and Round Hill Hotel and Villas Managing Director Josef Forstmayr made a special presentation to the Ohrstrom family — one of the founding families at Round Hill. The honour was accepted by third-generation Round Hill shareholder Lysandra Ohrstrom.

After dinner, the tuxedo jackets came off, and bow ties loosened as the Chokey Taylor Band had guests dancing and joining an energetic conga line. The merriment was warranted as it was a celebration of another successful Sugar Cane Ball guaranteeing of the continuation of the necessary support that Hanover Charities provides in western Jamaica.

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