Nassau, The Bahamas – Nearly 200 guests gathered at Lyford Cay Foundations’ annual holiday reception at Lyford Cay Club on December 29, 2023. Current Scholars, alumni, grantees, FOCUS students, board members, government officials and donors convened for the much-anticipated celebration.
Basil Goulandris, Chairman of Lyford Cay Foundations, gave opening remarks expressing appreciation for the hard work of the many beneficiaries who have been transformed by the Foundations’ programmes and the generous donors who make it possible.
“We are so proud of our legacy of philanthropy. Lyford Cay Foundations has grown to become the largest private benefactor of education initiatives in the country having disbursed more than $50 million in the community,” said Goulandris. “Since we last gathered here, the Foundations has invested over $2.2 million in programming to benefit Bahamians. Our collective impact can be seen in academic and vocational scholarships, grants, the Cutillas Scholars programme, FOCUS, our strong support for the University of The Bahamas and our newest programme, LEAP.”
Speakers included Lavano Sands, a first-year medical student at American University of Antigua College of Medicine who credits his formative years in FOCUS, the Foundations’ out-of-school-time, tuition-free enrichment programme, for his academic development. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for FOCUS,” shared Sands. “What started as an opportunity has transformed into a profound sense of purpose and understanding. The program didn’t just equip me for college; it equipped me for life in its entirety.”
Eureia Rolle, Head Girl and Student of the Year at Uriah McPhee Primary School also read her winning Grade 6 FOCUS competition speech on the importance of caring for the environment.
A diverse group of leaders from the Lyford Cay community, the business sector and government leadership were in attendance to celebrate the Foundations’ beneficiaries.
“It was a wonderful evening illustrating how Lyford Cay Foundations continues to partner harmoniously with Bahamians, government and the Lyford Cay community to provide learning opportunities for those who need and deserve them most,” summed up Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle, Executive Director of Lyford Cay Foundations.