PHILIPSBURG – At Sundial School, Monday, December 12, all pupils involved in the Crystal Pineapple Awards, were honored by receiving an official certificate by the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA), as well as a US $100 voucher by Le Grand Marché Supermarkets.
At the meeting, organizing party SHTA expressed gratitude regarding the work of the volunteers and was looking forward to continue the close working relationship.
With the Le Grand Marché donations handed over on Monday, Danny Ramchandani made good on a promise made during his acceptance speech for his Businessman of the Year Crystal Pineapple Award. His gesture of offering $100 worth shopping at his supermarkets to the hard working Sundial volunteers of that night was well received by the audience. Ramchandani was awarded Businessman of the Year by the board of SHTA for his relentless support for St. Maarten’s community, and ability to look beyond his business interests to the greater good of country St. Maarten.
Ramchandani’s gesture towards the Sundial students only illustrated how the 2016 Crystal Pineapple Awards had a large Sundial element. Well-known Sundial teacher Bart Peut was lauded with the “Tourism Ambassador of the Year” award for his large efforts in assisting the St. Maarten culinary team to win a gold medal this year at Taste of the Caribbean.
Sundial was highlighted even further as next to teacher Peut, a former pupil of his won an award. Former Sundial student Wendell Laurence, now chef at Big Fish Restaurant, received Chef of the Year 2016.
SHTA personally thanked Tahinia Gregory, Jahera Philbert, Leshandra Illis, Rosio Castillo, Zaria Scott, Andrew Gordon, Reyerson Le Blanc, Rafael Hanson, K’tania Proctor, Beatrix Cannegieter and Erika Mercedes for their hard work with a personal certificate. SHTA hopes that this small sign of approval by St. Maarten’s key hospitality and trade association will open doors for their further hospitality career. The association, having had very good comments about this year’s event, gratefully shared those compliments with the school as the Sundial pupils played an essential part in that success.
SHTA stressed not underestimating the achievement accomplished on November 19. As the largest in-house event of the island, 400 people need to be catered for in a very lively and busy setting of speeches, music acts, movies and award ceremonies. That makes the annual gala a great, but steep learning curve that the pupils showed very apt coping with.
As a way to celebrate the long-term cooperation with Sundial and Peut, and Sundial and SHTA working together, the SHTA team and board will enjoy a Christmas lunch at the school’s Le Source Restaurant on Thursday, December 15.