Our goal: to create learning success stories, one student at a time.

​​JEANETTE GRANT-WOODHAM

Memories of the 

2020 FUNDRAISING DINNER

PEGASUS HOTEL, JAMAICA

OH, WHAT A NIGHT!!!
……………………………………………

The venue was the place of the mythical Greek divine horse
Of Jamaican heritage; it’s the Pegasus of Course
Beautifully bedecked the ballroom of purple and gold tinged with white
The tables-tops with mirrors and silver ware glistening in the light.

 There is no other place that I would rather be
Since Lady Jeanette and Brother Kiddo made a special request of me.
So here I am at this very boasy fundraising affair
When I arrived not too many of the peeps were here.

But since, my friends, it’s D’ Brown’s ‘Earth Strong’
We sat back, relaxed and hearing “For You”, sang along.
P.S. Denzil Thorpe was in the house at my table
Deputizing for his Minister; we all knew that he is quite able.

 Well my dears, for a long time I had not heard this said.
It’s ‘Jamaica Time’, No sah, that thing is now dead!
At least for guest speaker Marcus, and Lady Jeanette, among the first to arrive.
A true example of why successful people can’t help but thrive.

 The Jamaica Constabulary Force band gave us a musical prelude
With flare, panache and spunk and plenty attitude,
After the DJ fed us with a slew of ole time chune
Time then it was for the start and certainly not too soon.

 As Master or Mistress of Ceremonies, call it what you will.
Mine was the honour to welcome, and wasn’t that a thrill.
I read me one of my poems, ‘If I could change the World’.
Try to make life better for every man, woman, boy and girl.

 Time then it was for our National Anthem to be played.
As we stood at attention, this beautiful sound on our hearts was laid.
We were then led in prayer to Almighty God
“Deacon Kiddo” did the honours, blessing the path we would trod.

To say we missed the presence of the Tivoli Dance Troupe
Is indeed an understatement; what a super duper group
So Mrs. Carol Hammond gave us an in-depth overview
Of all the Foundation has accomplished so we knew all they do.

 Eight Students got scholarships; those are the top achievers
Past Students attending UTECH and Mico and are worthy school leavers
The United Mission of Good Will also played its part
Recording sound assistance; giving from the heart.

Mrs. Lorna Rawle, another great Earth angel
Helping our stars of the earth with such passion I can tell.
And so the Foundation, in its bid to spread its wings
Expanded to include STATHS, and Kingston High; dem a gwaan wid tings.

 Not to be outdone the private sector remains top a top
Finding creative ways to support our children; this must never ever stop.
All these great things were also referred to in the new Patron’s words.
Delivered by Permanent Secretary Thorpe on behalf of Minister Grange, in one accord.

 She hailed all stakeholders, founder Jeanette and Chairman Kiddo,
And felt honoured to walk in Uncle Eddie’s footprints we all love him so.
Thanking corporate citizens, especially Carreras and Mr. Steele,
The CEO who to a certain group of customers he surely would appeal.

How could she not mention our very special Grammy Kid
Koffee had all Jamaicans so proud of what she did.
‘Yours truly’ was so eager to prevent the white squall bug
That I forgot to pronounce the grace and had already poured from the jug.

 She implored the Foundation to all light a candle
So the children wouldn’t stumble in the dark but provide them with a handle.
The JCF band entertained as we all ate
With tunes from days of old, made our hearts palpitate.

 The models from Neahlis, they were fabulous and sharp
The ‘ites’, green and gold with bold yellow like a carp.
And as cutie Ms. Cupie introduced the Man of Steele
We were treated to an amazing story of tear-jerking appeal.

 One of twenty-five children with nine baby mothers.
He never liked to work; that was my father.
Born in Payneland near the old train line
Poor vs poverty when the rainwater in the drum was mine.

When his mother ran away , he searched for her four months.
Didn’t matter that the teachers thought that he was a dunce
Cried with his teacher when his was the only name they saw
in the Gleaner, that the great Marcus had passed for St. Jago.

 This Man of Steele was that in name only, not nature
Values taught by his mama, whose teachings he nurtured.
Its not an easy road, for the dirty big pants boy.
Deputy Head of St. Jago, that was dear Mrs. Goldson’s ploy.

Greatest joy for him, was making it to university.
Through Student Loan’s help, he aced the first year you see.
The former “bottle police” won the KPMG scholarship
And developed the joy of giving; never forgetting to worship.

 Never allow anyone to define your lane for you.
You must own your personal development, that’s what you must do.
At the awards function my mama proudly sat beside me
Mistook the question, thinking they thought she was on staff you see.

 At Carreras Mr. Steele reached the pinnacle of his career.
Doing all through sheer resilience; he put the gold spoon in there .
Catching the little dumpling that rolled out of the bag
Can’t afford to lose any; from hunger they did drag!
 
When his mama was declared by doctors legally blind
He didn’t spare the million dollars so she could see and ease her mind.
Build a foundation around you; think positively at all times.
Through education you will have hope; let it be your rhythm and rhymes.
 
My today’s best is my tomorrow’s worst
Don’t benchmark against anyone else; choose you first!
Against all odds you can excellence achieve.
You too can do well if you only believe.

A standing ovation, Marcus Steele he received.
A gamut of emotions, tears, and smiles he retrieved.
Then the little dressed lady in purple, gold and red
Danced her way into our hearts, went straight to my head.

Time then it was for the icing on the cake.
Bursaries of $50,000 to award the efforts that they make.
Tavani, Javone, Leon, Odane and Franz.
Noel, Aliyah, Dervane, DeAndre, Victoria all top ranks.

The Awardees’ kodak moment, with their cheques in hand.
From the smiles on their faces you could see they were feeling grand.
Ms. Michelle Walford then moved the vote of thanks.
Because ‘Gratitude is a Mus’ we must put it in our memory banks.

 And as the ‘Lioness’ was belted out by songstress Shenicka
Tell you the truth, I thought it was the great Queen Ifrica
This was truly a night that God blessed, so my people as you trod
Take care of yourselves and remember… always
 
Go With God!!!

 Written spontaneously at the Awards Dinner by Master of CeremonyAllison C. Peart