NYC gala to honor eminent Caribbean leaders at esteemed University Of The West Indies event

This year’s honorees of the 27th annual AFUWI gala are from top left: His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the ninth President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces as well as the current chairman of the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM.); Mr. Don Christian, a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; Attorney Darren Skinner, Co-General Counsel of the law firm of the Washington, D.C. office of Arnold & Porter; Bottom L-R: Mr. Anthony Mark Desnoes Hart, Executive Chairman of the Caribbean Producers Jamaica Ltd.; Ms. Michele Chow-Tai, the Managing Director of Business Development at Fairview Capital Partners; and Rev. Patrick Perrin, recently retired as a United Methodist Elder after serving St. John’s United Methodist Church of Elmont, in Valley Stream, New York. (AFUWI image)

The countdown is on to the 27th annual American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) fundraising gala, set for Thursday, April 18th, from 6:30 p.m. at the classy 583 Park Avenue venue in New York City.

This year’s gala, presented under the theme, “The Legacy Continues,” will build upon the history of providing hundreds of scholarships over the past decade. These scholarships have opened doors for Caribbean students from underprivileged backgrounds, allowing them to achieve their dreams of pursuing higher education.

“The AFUWI annual gala awards has been a significant funding source for the scholarship program, giving us the finances urgently needed to assist with tuition expenses for many young, talented, and ambitious Caribbean nationals who would not be able to fulfill their aspirations of a college education because of their dire financial circumstances,” said Ann-Marie Grant, executive director of the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies, (AFUWI). “We are so thankful to all our donors who, by contributing to this endeavor, help to create their own impactful legacy.”

This Year’s Distinguished Honorees Are:

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the ninth President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, and current chairman of the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM).

Mr. Don Christian, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, with a 35-year career in technology, aerospace, defense, and more. He is also a trustee at Howard University and the McDonogh School and the founder of the Jamaica Howard University Affinity Network, (J-1 or JHUAN), which has raised over $250,000 for Jamaican students.

Mr. Anthony Mark Desnoes Hart, the executive chairman of Caribbean Producers Jamaica Ltd. and a key figure in its establishment. He previously served as CEO, and is also a founding shareholder of the company, which is currently listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, (JSE).

Attorney Darren Skinner, co-general counsel of the Washington, D.C. office of Arnold & Porter, a law firm that provides sophisticated regulatory, litigation, and transactional representation to nearly half of the Fortune 100 and many other clients.

Ms. Michele Chow-Tai, the managing director of Business Development at Fairview Capital Partners, where she spearheads strategic planning and client strategies to enhance the firm’s private equity and venture capital endeavors. Ms. Chow-Tai is also actively involved in several boards, including the National Association of Securities Professionals – New York Chapter and the Greater New Haven Chambers of Commerce.

Rev. Patrick Perrin, who from Jamaica to New York, has dedicated most of his life to guiding his congregation and youth. Rev. Perrin recently retired as a United Methodist Elder after serving St. John’s United Methodist Church of Elmont in Valley Stream, New York, ending 32 years of service to the United Methodist Church.

Each ticket, table, sponsorship, or donation helps to fund education in the Caribbean and create the next generation of leaders in a region that struggles with a lack of access to capital. Get your tickets today for the AFUWI 27th annual gala at


The American Foundation for The University of The West Indies, (AFUWI), a US-based non-profit, seeks to transform the lives of exceptionally talented young women and men who are in dire financial circumstances by providing access to higher education so they can break the cycle of generational poverty and make an economic impact in their local communities and throughout the Caribbean region. During the past 10+ years alone, AFUWI has provided approximately 600 tuition scholarships to students across the Caribbean region, donated $7.5M in goods, and brokered multiple relationships with other tier-one institutions. All contributions – cash or in-kind – are tax-deductible to the full extent of state and federal laws. Donate to support education today at

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