"It's the 18th annual one live. It's great to see so many old donors back out and a whole bunch of new ones too. And it's always such a fun eventâ€¦ getting the whole crew together to celebrate," shared Paul Salmon, CEO and chair of the Rockhouse Hotel and Rockhouse Foundation.
His opening address at the foundation's annual benefit dinner held on October 16, at the Public Theater and Joe's Pub at Astor Place, NYC, sought to encourage those in attendance to contribute towards the betterment of children in Jamaica by raising funds to construct an educational institution to accommodate all children and cater to their individual needs. The Savanna-la-Mar Inclusive Academy (Sav Inclusive) aims to provide a safe and welcoming environment for children from all walks of life, irrespective of their background, financial status, or disabilities. Groundwork is already underway thanks to the efforts of the president of the foundation Peter Rose, Salmon, and their team.
The culinary experience at the event showcased the rich flavours of Jamaica, with a collaborative menu curated by culinarians Miss Lily's Negril Executive Chef Kahari Woolcock; founder of Ariapita in Brooklyn Osei "Chef Picky" Blackett; and executive chef at The Public Ricky Mungaray.
The occasion saw fervent auction bids, with attendees eagerly vying for prized items, like the Skylark Resort and Spa Package valued at US$4,000 and the coveted Miss Lily's Dinner Party package for up to 10 people, which were swiftly claimed within minutes of the bidding frenzy.
Grammy Award-winning singer Estelle later ignited the room with exhilarating performances of chart-topping hits such as I Wanna Love You and Love Like Ours. In a poignant moment, Estelle paused, her voice carrying the weight of the evening's purpose as she took a moment to address the audience, acknowledging the collective efforts and generosity that had culminated in the remarkable fund-raising achievement.
The foundation reached an impressive fund-raising milestone of over US$330,000.
Kudos to Paul Salmon, 2023 recipient of the Chairman's Award at the 24th staging of the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards, Peter Rose and the team.
Photo Credit: Michael Condran
On location: Bridgett Leslie
Emmy Award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph rounds out The Fabulous Four, a new comedy starring Bette Midler, Megan Mullally, and Susan Sarandon. Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, the film will follow three best friends as they travel to Key West, Florida to be bridesmaids for the surprise wedding of their college girlfriend, Marilyn, played by Midler.
The Fabulous Four is currently in production in Georgia and is expected to be released in 2024.