Dominican civic groups in New Jersey organise cultural awards gala to assist health services in Dominica

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SOUTH ORANGE, New Jersey (7 August 2014) – Dominican civic groups in the US state of New Jersey have planned an exquisite and explosive display of Dominican culture and heritage aimed at raising funds to assist the health sector in Dominica.

The groups have organized the second annual Dominica Cultural Awards Gala on Saturday, September 27, at the beautiful, historic Woman’s Club of Upper Montclair, New Jersey. The event will feature delicious authentic Dominican food by Melanie George of Dos D’Ane, courtesy of Juliana’s Classic Dishes, a restaurant and catering facility in East Orange, owned by Juliana Baptiste from Goodwill.

One of the best-known disc jockeys, DJ Lolo of Mahaut will rekindle memories of home with some of the most wistfully appealingly Dominican music.  Folkloric entertainment will be provided by Know Your Culture Dance Troupe led by Sabeniah Mingo from Roseau and the Jing Ping Band under the leadership of Darius Moses of La Plaine; a mouth organ rendition by Vernon Musgrave from Marigot and other live performances, including bélé and konte from well-known Dominican performances.  A retrospective fashion show themed “Fashion Through the Ages” by Nyrle Robin of Wesley, will round off the evening’s program.

The first Dominica Cultural Awards Gala was held last year and funds raised benefitted a New Jersey-based civic group and provided seed money for this year’s event.

“Last year’s experience taught us that Dominicans have a desire for an event like this. For the more mature folks, it is nostalgic reminder of their experiences at home and for the younger Dominican Americans a unique occasion to observe their heritage in full display and to appreciate firsthand, the camaraderie that naturally exists among Dominicans when they get together with the sole objective of doing good for fellow Dominicans” said Sylma Brown, the chairman of the planning committee.

“The Gala provides an opportunity for Dominicans and their friends, families, colleagues and communities to party with a cause and guests are asked to donate medical items to a drive to collect medical supplies for distribution among the clinics in Dominica, an initiative of the Northeast USA Wesley Committee” she added.

Gala tickets are priced at US$70 and include a cocktail reception, dinner, open bar, entertainment and dancing.  Children under 12 pay $35.

The Gala is staged through the combined efforts of the, Dominica Sisserou International; Dominica United Cricket Club, Know Your Culture Dance Troupe, the North American Association for the Advancement of La Plaine and the Northeast US Wesley Committee.

The Committee exists to share the love of their culture with their communities, to promote Dominica as the nature lover’s ideal vacation destination and to contribute to the growth and development of Dominica by supporting community efforts in the United States and at home.

The event is sponsored by DomCan Development and Juliana’s Classic Dishes.  Additional sponsors are being sought.

For more information on the Gala, please email Sylma Brown at sylmab at

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