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CARIBBEAT: Fund-raiser and New York government assistance to aid Bahamas survivors of Hurricane Dorian

CARIBBEAT: Fund-raiser and New York government assistance to aid Bahamas survivors of Hurricane Dorian
New York City and State and private groups are helping with many needs of Hurricane Dorian survivors in the Bahamas by responding with assistance in many forms.

The island nation’s Abaco and Grand Bahama islands were hit hard by the hurricane, leaving scores dead, hundreds missing and thousands homeless. But help is still coming.

* Irie Jam Radio 93.5FM/Irie Jam 360 and One Caribbean are participating media sponsors for the Caribbean Day of Giving mediathon Oct. 26 to raise money “to support displaced residents of the affected islands.”

Broadcasts of programs, interviews and music will inform the public of the relief situation in the Bahamas with help from government officials and representatives of international organizations.

Caribbean Day of Giving is organized by the Caribbean Diaspora Disaster Relief Coalition.

Monetary donations during the mediathon will go to the Caribbean Day of Giving charity partners — the Bahamian American Association Inc. in New York City, American Foundation of the University of the West Indies and the Sandals Foundation.

And the relief efforts will aid some of the agencies on the ground in the Bahamas, such as Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, HeadKnowles Bahamas, Hands for Hunger and Samaritan’s Purse.

For more information, please visit website:

* A joint initiative to allow city employees in New York to “donate a portion of their paychecks to hurricane relief efforts, as well as collect donations from the general public to support ongoing relief work,” was announced by First Lady Chirlane McCray and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

According to statement, “the funds will be managed through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City [and] distributed to reputable relief organizations” working in the Bahamas.

“The Bahamas thanks you for this initiative and for the excellent work that you’re doing, because without your support, this tragedy could be greater,” said Lawrence (Larry) Cartwright, Bahamas consul general in New York.

“Many of our families have deep connections to the islands of the Caribbean — they are hurting, mourning the loss of loved ones and friends, and fearful of the future nature’s fury may bring,” said McCray.

“Through the strength of our partnerships and the generosity of the people of New York, we will help bring critical support to Bahamians impacted by Hurricane Dorian,” said Toya Williford, executive director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.

* Last week, Gov. Cuomo announced that the State University of New York will offer reduced instate tuition for the 2019-20 academic year to students from the Bahamas who have been displaced by Hurricane Dorian.

And SUNY’s Board of Trustees encouraged the boards of trustees of its 30 community colleges and the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred Ceramics to do the same.

“In New York, we know all too well about the life-shattering damage a hurricane and other extreme weather can leave behind,” Cuomo said. “We will stand with our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean at this difficult time and send much more than thoughts and prayers to the Bahamas.”

Visit for information.

Angostura cocktail contest

Bartenders and mixologists in the Caribbean — who are normally hustling and bustling in their jobs — are getting really stirred up about the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge.

The 10th annual Cocktail Challenge will take place Feb. 23 in Trinidad — held during Trinidad and Tobago’s 2020 carnival. But now is the time for participants from the region to get involved.

Deadline is Oct. 10 for entrants to submit written and video applications to be selected to compete in the Nov. 10 regional contest in Barbados. Only six people will be chosen.

The Challenge is open to bartenders from Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The big Cocktail Challenge finale in Trinidad will be a a truly a global affair — the culmination of participants from North and South America, Europe and Asia vying for top honors.

The all-Caribbean winner will then compete in the global finale, to shake — or stir — it against international competitors vying for $10,000 as well as a two-year contract as the ANGOSTURA Global Brand Ambassador, showcasing ANGOSTURA bitters and rum products.

The Angostura company is known for its aromatic bitters and fine rums, produced at the only rum distillery in Trinidad.

Visit and select the “How to Enter” tab for entry information, competition rules and guidelines.

85 years of service

The 85-year-old Manhattan-based Antigua and Barbuda Progressive Society received well-deserved honors last week when a City Council proclamation named Sept. 25 as “Antigua and Barbuda Progressive Society Day” in New York City and the group got U.S. House of Representatives recognition for its birthday.

Members and supporters gathered at the group’s Harlem headquarters Wednesday for an open house marking its founding more than four decades ago.

Mayor de Blasio signed the “Antigua and Barbuda Progressive Society Day” document, which noted the organization’s founding goals to aid immigrants and its service initiatives in “Harlem ad beyond.”

The anniversary recognition from Congress came from Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan). The congressional honor cited the longtime organization’s “steadfast service to our community” on it’s 85th birthday.

T&T PM rings in Nasdaq

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley took time from his diplomatic duties at the United Nations General Assembly to take center stage at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square — and ringing the stock market’s opening bell last Friday.

“This morning I participated in the Nasdaq bell-ringing ceremony,” Rowley tweeted on Friday. “I used the opportunity to promote Trinidad and Tobago to a global audience and to highlight our industrial sector, our culture and our people.”

According to the stock exchange, the prestigious opening and closing bell ceremonies “provide a platform for companies to generate meaningful brand exposure”

Nasdaq Market Technology executive Carlos Patino introduced Rowley, who was accompanied by Pennelope Beckles, Trinidad and Tobago’s permanent representative to the UN.

Haitian nurses’ gala

Working and caring for patients in the Greater New York area 24/7 and 365 days a year is quite a task, but members of the Haitian American Nurses Association manage to do that and more — holding community events, helping students and presenting an annual scholarship, fund-raising and awards gala.

HANA’s 2019 gala — at Leonard’s Palazzo, 555 Northern Blvd. in Great Neck, L.I., on Nov. 1 — is a big fund-raiser for the not-for-profit organization that helps pay for its participation in local community health fairs, the group’s tuition assistance program and its academic scholarship program for students in Greater New York and Haiti.

“The gala is our flagship event that enables us to do this and to recognize individuals/organizations that are making a difference in our communities” said HANA President Kelynne Edmond, adding that there are still opportunities for sponsors to get involved.

“With the support from sponsors last year, HANA was able to raise over $10,000 in scholarship funds for deserving nursing students. Our goal is to double the scholarship amounts in 2019. We cannot reach this benchmark without your generous support,” she said.

The New York State Nurses Association, Premier Heritage, High Volume Boutique, Junior Auto Repair, Haiti Premiere Classe, Progressive Community Center/Citi Health Home Care Services, BHRAGS Home Care, Beyond Focus TV, and Essentia Water are some of the past sponsors for the benefit.

“All sponsorship contributions are 100% tax-deductible,” said Edmond.

For information on the HANA gala, the group’s activities, scholarship applications and sponsorship opportunities, visit or send email to

Harlem-Queens art show

The “Harlem Renaissance to Jamaica Renaissance” event — bringing a special edition of the traveling Harlem Fine Arts Show to Queens, will be held in Saturday at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Ave., from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Works in the traveling “African diasporic” art show will be on display starting at 10 a.m.

Under the theme, “Coming Home,” the organizers of the art show and sale will salute “Jamaica, Queens, icons” and present a special award to the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning.

“Saturday Chic” is the dress code for the affair, which features food from the Hibiscus Restaurant and music from Art Cross of WBLS

Admission to the special evening event is $50 and includes all-day access. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the general admission to the art show is $15, with reduced rates for seniors and students.

For information, visit or call (800) 376-3860.

Dancehall’s Spragga is back

It has been close to a decade, but dancehall’s Spragga Benz has released his new album, “Chiliagon,” through Easy Star/Buttercuts/Red Square Productions.

On the long-anticipated album, Benz does not disappoint — “blending roots, riddim, drum and bass, garage, grime and hip hop.”

With the aid of top producers in the U.K., the album features Sean Paul, General Levy, Agent Sasco, Harry Shotta, Tanika and others.

“These are artists and producers I’ve worked with and admired as friends, as a fan, and as idols I looked up to. Dancehall is the foundation of so many genres; being surrounded by so much talent for ‘Chiliagon’ brings my joy of making music full circle,” says Benz.

For more on the album, visit

And at the Grammy Museum Experience Prudential Center on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Benz will take part in a moderated conversation followed by a question-and-answer session and a brief performance. Tickets are $20 and available now at

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