The Andrea Bocelli Foundation's 'Voices Of Haiti' Choir Takes A Spin Around Manhattan
publish date: 2016-09-19
On Sunday afternoon (Sept. 18), boarded a yacht at Chelsea Piers 61 in Manhattan to join The Andrea Bocelli Foundation for a luncheon cruise to celebrate the 35 members of the Voices of Haiti choir, who made their debut during their week-long stay in New York City. JSSI — Jet Support Services Inc. — co-hosted the event, dubbed “Voices of Haiti Cruise,” after partnering with the ABF to provide a round-trip flight on a Boeing Business Jet to bring the children and their teachers to the U.S., labeled the "Voices of Haiti Flight.”
The Voices of Haiti choir is part of ABF's Break The Barriers initiative, aimed at supporting and promoting projects to aid populations of developing countries, as well as to give help in those situations where "poverty, illness and complex social problems invalidate or reduce the quality of life." The choir members are Haitian children aged 9-15, and through the experience, ABF hopes that they will enhance their talent with highly specialized training, also benefiting a "wealth of educational, cultural and existential opportunities precious for their future."
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The luncheon cruise, which brought the children for a spin around Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty alongside the Bocelli Family, ABF execs and the family of JSSI chairman Bob Book and CEO Neil Book, was just one of many events of their action-packed week of performances -- not only their international debut, but also their first trip outside of the island nation. During the visit, they performed with Andrea at the Lincoln Center Global Exchange Opening Ceremony and Tony Bennett’s 90th Birthday (Sept. 15), the Childhood Foundation Conference at the UN and Gala (Sept. 16) and they're even set to sing at the 10th anniversary of the Clinton Global Citizen Awards on Monday night (Sept. 19).
During the luncheon, special guest Martha Stewart created the menu and spoke to the children about her relationship with Haiti as well as how to make a new recipe – a jicama citrus salad – from her new book Vegetables, in an effort to impart the value of healthy and delicious nutrition. “Bienvenue children! I started to go to Haiti in the '60s for vacations and it was just so beautiful. I learned so much about tropical foods there,” the entrepreneur told the crowd. “My last trip to Haiti was a less fortunate trip and that was right after the hideous earthquake. To be able to bring the voices of Haiti here today is so nice and I applaud Bob Book [chairman of JSSI] and his sons for working so hard with this amazing group, and of course the ABF.”