(NEW YORK, NY – July 2, 2016) The Halo Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to address the needs of 25 charitable entities in Antigua and Barbuda, held its Wings of Charity Gala and Auction at a private New York City Upper Eastside location last Thursday. One of the main goals of the event was to “broaden the organization’s circles of philanthropy” through a global call for greater civic consciousness to help improve the lives of the needy and less fortunate.
The red carpet affair, hosted by H.E. Sir Rodney Williams and Lady Sandra Williams, founders of the Halo Foundation, integrated the colour, splendour and theme of Antigua’s 60th Carnival, “Experience Greatness.”
In his keynote address, Antigua and Barbuda’s Governor General, H.E. Sir Rodney Williams made reference to a famous line from Sir Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” as he shared the vision, accomplishments and goals of the Halo Foundation. He also outlined some of the organization’s programs that are designed to assist those who face adverse social and physical limitations.
Characterized as a fun filled “celebration for a cause,” the event drew wide support from the Diaspora and New York’s business community, including prizes provided by Jet Blue and Norwegian Airlines. There was also significant interest from the entertainment community. Former CBS White House correspondent, Randall Pinkston was Master of Ceremonies of the event and Grammy nominated performer Kathy Sledge, best known as the lead singer of the R & B group Sister Sledge, was inducted as Goodwill Ambassador for the Halo Foundation. After accepting the award, Sledge serenaded the audience with her chart topping song “We are Family,” and pledged to utilize her voice, platform and networks to support the Halo Foundation in broadening its international outreach efforts.
The Halo Foundation also received strong support from the event’s main sponsors, whose representatives had an opportunity to address the gathering. Mr. Neal Simon, President and CEO of the American University of Antigua, Platinum Sponsors of the event, pledged support for the Halo Foundation’s mission and volunteer programs. The Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission, Gold Sponsors of the event, was represented by Ryan Johnson, who presented highlights of Antigua’s upcoming Carnival celebrations. Guests also experienced a prelude to Antigua’s Carnival through a cultural showcase featuring dancers from Insane Carnival Troupe’s 2016 Collection under the theme Tribe. Music was provided by the Antibuda Jazz Project, a new Caribbean band headed by Antiguan and Barbuda performer and music educator, Vince “Kazi” McCoy.
Several local businesses in Antigua and Barbuda also made significant contributions to The Halo Hallmark Collection’s live auction, which was one of the highlights of the evening’s activities. Executed by Dr. Dave Ray, the live auction featured more than 25 authentic products and services from Antigua and Barbuda, including vacation packages at top resorts, paintings, literary works and autographed memorabilia from celebrities and world champions.
“All proceeds from the Halo Foundation, managed by its Board of Directors, go towards programs that are aimed at helping the needy, reducing needless human suffering and fostering sustainable change in the lives of vulnerable citizens, whose needs are often overlooked. We are extremely grateful to our many sponsors, the U.S. Organizing Committee headed by Ms. Derede Samuel-Whitlock , Antiguan and Barbudan Chef Murphy, and the many volunteers, for their selfless support in executing this event successfully,” said Antigua and Barbuda’s Governor General H.E. Sir Rodney Williams.