2008 Gala — Bwa Kayiman

HALO’s 2008 "Bwa Kayiman" Gala was its best one to date! The number of guests exceeded all expectations—a poignant testimony to the fact that albeit judged controversial by some and unacceptable by others the theme of "Bwa Kayiman", chosen by Gala Chair, Mrs. Marie-May Gousse, proved inspiring enough to command the presence of close to 400 guests that night.

It was truly a magical night from beginning to end. Guests received their seating assignments on a loose green leaf, then proceeded down to the cocktail reception area where they were treated to typical Haitian culinary delicacies such as "akra" and "penpatat" while listening to the hypnotizing sounds of a trio of Caribbean drummers all the while surrounded by exquisite paintings by Haitian artists the likes of Sophia Lacroix, David Beaubrun, Brandt Labastille, and Franklin Belizaire, among others. Courtesy of Dr. Claude Fanfan, guests were treated to a brief and insightful look into the mystical, religious, and political aspects of the ceremony of "Bwa Kayiman" through a well-written pamphlet. Dr. Fanfan also had on exhibit his interpretation of the ceremony of "Bwa Kayiman" on canvas.

The path to the dining room proved an adventure in itself. To the sounds of captivating drums and guided by a pair of strong, muscular Adonis-like models guests were ushered into the dining room by a bevy of young beauties dressed in Haitian "Karabela" fashion. From the dining room entrance guests were greeted by the sounds of clamoring thunder and a roaring tiger as they stepped into an exquisitely decorated room with beautifully laid out tables covered by table linen with a wild motif and adorned with open flames and striking African masks mounted on bamboo and topped with beautiful flowers and leaves as centerpieces. A high ceiling with striking chandeliers draped with silky black, dropped curtains put the finishing touches on this visually exciting, primitive and yet sophisticated décor.

Mistress of Ceremony attorney Marie Jo Toussaint kept a tight rein on the program and directed it efficiently. Highlights of the night were special award presentations to Mr. Alex St. Surin and Mr. Daniel Fils-Aime for their contribution to the Haitian community and HALO. Ms. Chimene Mathurin, HALO’s first prize winner in the First Annual HALO Essay Competition was also on hand and was recognized for her academic achievements. Sosyete Koukouy performed a haunting dance interpretation of the ceremony at "Bwa Kayiman". Dr. Jerry Gilles gave a short presentation on the meaning of "Bwa Kayiman" which served as a prelude to the dance number.

As in years past, the musical entertainment was provided by Mr. Michel Martelly AKA Sweet Mickey who did not disappoint as usual. He gave no chance for avid fans and dance-crazed guests to sit down. He played number after number with no respite and at some point was even on stage alone while the rest of his band mates were taking a quick break! You have to love Sweet Mickey! HALO is ever grateful to him for his contribution to the organization as an artist but most of all as a patriot who cares and willingly gives the gift of time and talent without asking for anything in return. Thank you Mickey!

In summary, the night was a very successful one. Guests were treated to a nice meal in a striking décor with musical entertainment provided by a legend. Everyone was smiling and happy and expressed great enjoyment at being at the gala. New alliances were forged and old acquaintances renewed. Mrs. Marie-May Gousse and Mrs. Judith Joseph from Le Chic Events are to be commended for their impeccable taste and organizational skills in putting the gala together. A great time was had by all and we are hoping to duplicate this year’s success next year. If you have yet to make it to a HALO gala let next year be your inaugurating year. We are expecting you! See you there!

Gala pictures –1                                                                      Gala pictures –2                                                                             More Gala pictures

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