By Gerald V. Paul
“We are all set for Repping the Rock, making us proud,” said Hugh Graham, co-ordinator of the 12th-Annual Barbados Charity Ball.
Citing that theme of the June 13 event at Pearson Convention Centre, Graham said Olympians Michael Smith and Marita Payne-Wiggins have been selected to receive the Barbados Ball Award.
Payne-Wiggins competed in two consecutive Summer Olympics in track and field and holds two silver medals as a member of the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams at the 1984 Olympics. A two- time Canadian 400m champion, she is co-holder of the Canadian 400m record (49.91) and Canadian 200m record (22.62).
She was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2001. The mother of 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, Payne-Wiggins resides in Vaughan with her family.
Michael Smith holds the Canadian record in the decathlon and the world’s best performance for the three combined throwing events in decathlon (shot-put, discus and javelin). A gold medal winner at the Commonwealth Games in 1990 and 1994, Smith ranked in the top 10 in the world for 10 years in a row from 1989 to 1998 with the highest rankings being #2 in 1991 and #3 in 1995.
Smith lives in Calgary and is now an investment advisor and also works in sports television as a commentator for track and field events.
Graham said that proceeds of the ball will aid the John Rollock Memorial Scholarships, SickKids, Caribbean Initiative, Barbados Olympic Association and Barbados Paralympic Association, organized by Barbados Ball Canada Aid.
Started in 2004, Barbados Ball is a black tie affair that is now one of the premiere fundraising galas in Toronto. Some 600 patrons attend each year. This year the food is by Bajan-Canadian Chef Jason Inniss, owner of Amuse Bouche restaurant and chef professor at Georgetown College.
Adrian ‘AC’ Clarke is featured entertainer with Barbados’ 2008 Pico’de Crop Monarch, New Jenarashun and Susan G, DJ Jonathan Shaw and the Suzette Vidale (steel pan). Kavone Manning , 14, will sing the national anthems.