New York City, home to thousands of Bahamian Americans, will be the setting for an elegant event on Saturday, September 20th, to mark the 96th anniversary of the founding of the Nassau Bahamas Association, now the Bahamian American Association, Inc.

The Black-tie Gala Ball and Awards Ceremony will be held at the Astoria World Manor, 22-25 Astoria Boulevard, Astoria, New York 11102, and is expected to draw over 300 guests from around the Tri-State area and also from the Bahamas. His Excellency Cornelius A. Smith, Ambassador, Commonwealth of the Bahamas in Washington, DC will be the Guest Speaker and The Honourable Carl Francis Smith, Consul General in New York will be Guest of Honour.

Entertainment will be provided by professionals of Bahamian lineage – Grammy Award winner, Ms. Jasmine Thomas and Jazz Trumpeter, Alex Barry who hails from Harbour Island, Bahamas. Jasmine will be accompanied by her sister Cinnamon Thomas and friends C.J. Aubyn and Alysia Alejandro. Kimi “Dynamite”, friend of the Bahamas and wife of Harlem’s Picasso & Internationally known Artist “Franco the Great” will enchant the audience with her extraordinary and unique belly dancing act. Live music will be provided by Casplash, a popular Caribbean Calypso band based in New York. Master of Ceremony for the evening will be Mrs. Valery Brown-Alce, Sr. Director for the Americas, Bahamas Tourist Office, New York. There will also be a silent auction and raffles featuring Bahamian arts and crafts products from Rita Pratt, Chan Pratt and Willicey Tynes.

Honorees the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey A. Ingraham and Dr. Dana Minaya will be recognized for their dedication and service to the Bahamian community in the Tri-State area. The BAAI Scholarship award will be presented to Ms. Jasmine Thomas and a special recognition award to the 2008 Bahamas Olympics team will be presented to Mr. Michael Sands on behalf of the athletes for their good sportsmanship and accomplishments at the games in Beijing, China.

Come and enjoy an evening of fine dining, dancing and live entertainment with the BAAI. Proceeds of the Gala Ball will benefit the renovation of the Association’s headquarters at 211 West 137th Street, Harlem, New York and scholarship program.

The Bahamian American Association, Inc. (BAAI) is an outgrowth of the Nassau Bahamas Association, Inc. which was founded on September 17, 1912 by 10 men of Bahamian ancestry. BAAI was incorporated on September 23, 2002 to acquire not-for-profit status under 501C-3, serve as a vehicle to perpetuate the memory and achievements of its Founding Fathers and to address the present realities of the Bahamian American Community.

The Association strives to unite Bahamians, Bahamian Americans and all persons of good will for the purpose of promoting and sharing their cultural heritage, improving the quality of life for senior citizens and youth, and community empowerment in Bahamian-American Communities. Serving as an advocate for young people, BAAI assists students through the granting of scholarships for higher education and leadership development programs.