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New York charity raffles Jamaica vacations

Bevan Springer | 5/23/2013, 4:14 p.m.
Jamaica's Butch Stewart picks Almond in Barbados

NEW YORK (April 19, 2012)--It's not too late to win a vacation of a lifetime while helping the children of the Caribbean, proclaimed a New York-based charity.

Last month, Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) launched its Child Month Benefit Raffle, with proceeds benefiting underserved children in Jamaica. The nonprofit organization received support from JetBlue Airways, which donated travel certificates for the fundraising scholarship initiative aimed at improving the health, education and general well-being of Jamaica's children.

Tickets start at $5 and the raffle features a pair of JetBlue tickets with a six-day, five-night all-inclusive stay for two at Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay; a five-day, four-night all-inclusive stay for two at Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa in Ocho Rios; and a four-day, three-night all-inclusive stay for two at Sandals Resorts.

Tickets can be purchased from Lyndon Taylor, COJO communications director, by calling (646) 403-5771 until May 15. Taxes, fees and restrictions apply.

COJO founder and Chairman Gary Williams said, "[This raffle] is all about the children who are our future, and that's why we are so thankful to our hotel and airline partners who have joined forces with us to make this worthwhile investment. We encourage everyone to help us in attaining our goal." Other COJO resort partners include Half Moon-RockResorts, Palladium Hotels and Resorts and the Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort and Spa.

"JetBlue is committed to Jamaica and to COJO, which has consistently demonstrated its dedication to assisting those in need. We believe that, through COJO, we can positively impact a child's life by providing educational empowerment to secure a brighter future, with the potential to influence an entire community," said Icema Gibbs, director of Corporate social responsibility for JetBlue Airways.

For more than a decade, the volunteer-driven organization has supported a number of institutions in Jamaica and the United States.

Meanhwhile, Jamaica will become even more accessible for travelers from South Florida with the commencement of twice daily nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale to Kingston on JetBlue Airways. The new service begins April 30 and runs through Oct. 22.

"JetBlue's new service from Fort Lauderdale is a welcome addition, especially as the destination celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence this summer," said John Lynch, director of tourism. "We're calling Jamaicans overseas and non-Jamaicans alike to visit and help us celebrate. The South Florida market includes a large Diaspora community that we hope will take advantage of the new flight and JetBlue Airways' competitive pricing."