You can tell by the community spirit that abounds in the Durham Region that people who live here, love it. One man in particular, has combined his love of where he lives with that of where he comes. For the past 15 years, Grant Morris has been hosting an amazing event that gives back to the community.
Grant Morris has been a client of The Stacee-Free team for many years, and as Judy Stacee-Cleaver says, “Grant has definitely become more than a client to us. He is a friend and someone we all admire for all he does to give back to the community”.
Every summer since 1997, Grant’s independent planning and development consulting firm, Grant Morris Associates Ltd., has hosted “The Caribbean Event”.
“Grant Morris and his wife Patricia Sammy open up their home in Pickering, Ontario, to over 400 friends, supporters and members of the Barbadian/Canadian community. “The Caribbean Event Family” (as Grant calls the guests) enjoys an evening of casual dining, dancing and socializing. All of the expenses of the Event are paid for by Grant, personally. Over the years, the proceeds from the modest $50/person voluntary cover charge collected at the door has been donated to organizations such as the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, the Diabetic Association of Ontario and the York University Scholarship Fund. In addition, a portion of each year’s gate receipts from Event Family members is used to provide private scholarships and financial support to underprivileged university and college students in Barbados and Ontario. At this time, Grant’s Event provides annual bursaries to support six (6) students who are Event Family members. Aside for its fundraising aspect, the Event offers an outstanding opportunity for members of the Barbadian/Caribbean/Canadian community to connect with one another in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.”
This year Dr. Leroy McClean (Consul General for Barbados), Dave Ryan (Mayor of Pickering) and our own Anna Stinson (on behalf of the Stacee-Free Team) were among the guests.
This was no ordinary backyard barbecue by any stretch of the imagination. The main purpose of the “Event” is to raise funds to carry out its charitable objectives. It’s about giving back to the community, networking, renewing old acquaintances, making new friends, forging business relationships and encouraging our youth to strive for excellence.
Anna parked at the allocated parking lot and was immediately picked up by the event shuttle
and whisked away to the venue which was transformed into a Caribbean Paradise.
There was a Bouncing Castle and Face Painting for kids up front and as Anna worked her way back to the Caribbean Paradise she was met with traditional West Indian music and a hug from Grant and Pat.
Throughout the night, Grant kept a microphone in his hand, introducing and acknowledging various members of the Event Family and announcing winners of many door prizes and raffle draws.
The dining experience seemed never ending with delicious Barbadian dishes put out at regular intervals including:
• Hors d’oeuvres (fish cakes) 5:00pm
• Dinner 6:00 pm
• Pudding & Souse 9:00pm
• Fish Fry 10:00 pm
• Dessert Table 11:00pm
• Corn Soup 12:00 am
Refreshments were found at a special little hut and included 70 gallons of Bajan Rum Punch that had been aged in an oak barrel for 6 months and is affectionately referred to as “Kickapoo Joy Juice”.
After dinner the guests were entertained with steel pan music by the Vibes while dancing under the stars.
Anna ended her “Evening In The Caribbean” by walking back to her to car in the Barbados-like-weather to work off some of Grant’s homemade pudding.