POUGHKEEPSIE NY, March 29, 2022 – Three-time Grammy Award winner and Platinum music producer Jerry Wonda and Rotary clubs of the Hudson Valley will be honored at the Vassar Haiti Project’s (VHP) Annual Art & Soul Gala , which will be held virtually on Thursday, April 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. To register, go to https://thehaitiproject.org/events/art-and-soul-gala-2022
The annual gala, supported by local doctors and businesses from across the Hudson Valley, funds a medical clinic in Haiti that is also funded through the sale of Haitian arts and crafts. “We have an exciting program planned for the Art & Soul gala this year,” said VHP co-founder Lila Meade. “We will hear from our incredible honorees who have done extensive work to meet Haiti’s immediate and long-term needs.” The event is a collaboration with VHP’s Medical Advisory Board, which is comprised of a group of physicians and community members from across the Hudson Valley. This group oversees the programs and operations of the Fiervil Clinic, which serves patients from more than 45 villages. Many patients walk more than four hours to receive medical care at this clinic nestled in the remote mountains of northwestern Haiti.
VHP Student Co-President Alice (Yiqing) Fan says Art & Soul is one of the most meaningful events the organization is planning “it’s a night of celebration, remembrance and anticipation. Funds raised support our clinic in Fiervil, Haiti, for an entire year. All VHP’ers are looking forward to this event and all the new possibilities we will create!”
Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis, is a highly regarded Haitian film score composer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and music producer who emerged from the hip-hop era in the early 1990s. His musical career includes three Grammy Awards and more than 16 nominations, a publishing catalog of over 300 titles and multi-platinum music records with over 300 million copies of singles and albums sold. The self-taught musician has worked with big names in music including Whitney Houston, Rihanna, Shakira, Santana, Beyonce, Mick Jagger, John Legend, Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber and more. Jerry founded the NYC Platinum Sound music recording studio in New York, is governor of the Recording Academy’s NY chapter (the Grammy’s) and co-chairs its producers and engineers wing. He is a goodwill ambassador who supports the Haitian people in the areas of humanitarian aid, education, health, sustainable businesses and community development. Jerry sits on the board of the Vassar Haiti project.
Rotary Clubs of the Hudson Valley has been a partner of the Vassar Haiti project since 2010 to bring clean water, health care, education and economic opportunity to more than 45 villages in northwestern Haiti. Through the passion, guidance, and commitment of Rotarians to our work, they have shown us that we can achieve what once seemed impossible. Vassar Haiti Project students are inspired by Rotary members, their partnership, and their dedication to being agents of positive change in the world. Through their mentorship, a RotarACT club was established on the campus of Vassar College.
Last October, the Vassar Haiti project and our Haitian partners, thanks to the generous contributions of Rotarians and sponsors, inaugurated the construction of a solar-powered diagnostic laboratory in Chermaitre. The solar lab will bring electricity to the clinic, and with it, lighting, refrigeration and diagnostic technologies. This will have a lasting impact for the inhabitants of the 45 villages served by the clinic: the doctor will be able to better diagnose patients thanks to more advanced technologies, even when the sun goes down, and will be able to store vaccines and other medicines refrigerated. Dr. David Cho, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board, describes: “It is a dream come true to take the clinic to the next level; harnessing the power of the sun to create a place of healing, comfort and hope. I am forever grateful to everyone who supported us to make this happen.