Caribbean Entertainment Magazine (CEM) recently caught up with festival organizer Lorna, to talk about the upcoming the SC Reggae Jerk Wine Festival and her philanthropic work.
What’s SC Reggae Jerk Festival about?
SC Reggae Jerk Wine Festival celebrates Jamaica. It promotes two of Jamaica’s biggest exports, jerk, and Reggae Music. While we traditionally drink a cold beer or sip rum or rum cocktails with jerk, we introduce another option, wine.
What makes this festival different from other Caribbean Food festivals?
There are two main differences in our festival compared to other food festivals:
The SC Reggae Jerk Wine Festival supports a nonprofit, Healthy Lifestyle Network, and the fight to end child sexual abuse in Jamaica.
This festival is the only one devoted to pairing wine and jerk.
What are your expectations for the event in terms of attendance?
It is very important for us to raise a substantial amount of money at this festival to:
a) offset the cost since we were unable to get sponsors, and
b) to increase our efforts to fight child sexual abuse.
Does Charleston have a strong Caribbean Community?
Charleston has a growing Caribbean community. The state of SC actively recruits teachers and nurses from Jamaica to work.
How is this year going to be different from previous during this pandemic?
This year is very different because we have a new venue, and because of COVID-19 the turnout maybe small.
What’s the biggest challenge of pulling off an event like this during Covid?
There are several challenges to having an event during the pandemic; including the size of the venue to help encourage social distancing, the difficulty of getting sponsors, fear that folks may not come out to patronize the event, and the unexpected, limited vendors because they are unable to find workers.
Tell us about what attendees can expect this year?
Attendees are in for a treat, we have the two most popular Reggae Bands, Old Hits Dance Party with Host Wayne Hall, Jerk Chef Taste Off, Pepper Eating Contest, and meet and greet with our Consul General, Hon Oliver Mair.
Let’s talk about your charity organization “Healthy Lifestyle Network”. How did that come about?
Healthy Lifestyle Network (HLN) is a 501c3 organization that operates in Charleston, SC and in Port Antonio, Jamaica. I have always made donations of books to my Infant School every visit to Jamaica. In 2000 when the idea of Healthy Lifestyle Network was formed it was natural that it would serve both my hometown and the Community where I live. The Seven Pillars of HLN are: Environment, Health & Wellness, Education, Child Sexual Abuse Awareness, Cultural Arts, Entrepreneurship and Vocational Training. The programs of the Shelton Project encompass all aspects of the seven pillars. From donating books, we introduced the Infant and Basic Schools Football Program, and encouraging good nutrition, and planting what we eat. All this grew into the Infant and Basic School four Prong Program. Over the years we have expanded to the Primary schools and introduce Computers, and the fight to bring awareness of child sexual abuse to protect the children.
In Charleston we teach families nutrition and physical activity to improve health outcomes, and self- management for all but especially to people with diabetes or at risk for diabetes.
Can you tell us more about this year’s beneficiary?
Healthy Lifestyle Network’s Shelton Project in Port Antonio, Jamaica will be the beneficiary as we work to establish a computer room for the Primary school and for the Stand Up for Children Against Child Sexual Abuse Weekend, which is a four-day event and includes a conference for boys and for girls. These sessions help to bring awareness of sexual abuse and human trafficking and hopefully helps to build trust, so the children have adults to confide in if necessary.
Additionally, during this time of limited schooling the Shelton Project conducts Saturday School to help children get caught up with schoolwork, to provide a safe outlet to get out of the house and to introduce the children to some extracurricular activities to keep them engaged.
How can people get involved?
We encourage people to get involved by a) making recurring donations, b) signing up to be mentors, c) volunteers for events like the Stand Up for Children Against Child Sexual Abuse, d) or weekly volunteers at our Saturday school Program. Email: SheltonProject@gmail.com
How can you be reached?
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The South Carolina Reggae Jerk Wine festival will take place on August 29, 2021 from noon – 6:00 PM, located at Brittle Bank Park, 85 Lockwood Drive, Charleston, SC 29403
Get Tickets: https://scjerkfestival.eventbrite.com