DARDA members begin the National Day celebration with the singing of the United States and Dominica national anthems

On Sunday, November 6th 2011 Dominica-American Relief & Development Association (DARDA) held its annual National Day Gala at The Eastwood Manor – Bronx, NY in celebration of Dominica’s 33rd Anniversary of Independence.

Each year, DARDA invites friends from New York and neighboring states to don their National Dress and come enjoy great food, music, and company.  Guests are often addressed by various Dominican dignitaries, entertained with cultural performances by local dance groups and treated to a West-Indian style buffet.

Attended by over 200 guests, this year DARDA’s keynote speaker was His Excellency Vince Henderson, Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the United Nations.  Also in attendance were Mrs. Barbara Dailey – Dominica Consul General, Miss Kelly Thomas – Miss Wob Dwiyet New Jersey 2011, and actress Shenell Edmonds – “Destiny” on ABC’s One Life to Live.

For entertainment, guests were treated to traditional dances such as the quadrille and a live Jing Ping band by “Know Your Culture Dance Co. and Jing Ping Band” (a New Jersey based group under the supervision of Sabeniah George Mingo).  Guests were also treated to a creative dance by “Nou Wive Cultural Group” (a New York based group led by Justina Henderson) as well as a parade highlighting the history of Dominican Traditional Wear from slavery to present day (organized by Cecilia McIntyre).

As a special treat, the crowd was entertained with thoughts of familiar traditions and favorite places in Dominica by MC Ronald (Baba) Deschamps, followed by dancing to lively music from DJ Alick Paul.

DARDA is thankful for the continued success of the annual National Day Gala, the patronage of so many friends and supporters, and the funds ultimately generated, which are donated to various worthy causes throughout Dominica including the Grotto Home for the Homeless.

For more information on DARDA, including pictures of the National Day Celebration, please visit our website at www.darda.org or find us on facebook!