Trailblazer Caribbean-American Veterans to be Honored at Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival

The Courage & Grace Foundation Inc., will honor two Caribbean-American Veterans at this year’s Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival with the Veteran Trailblazer of Caribbean Heritage Award on Sunday, November 13, at Miramar Regional Park.

The Founders of Courage & Grace Foundation, Inc., Kenneth & Maxine Reyes spearheaded the process to identify and select eligible Caribbean-American Veterans based on criteria such as a minimum of 4 years service in the U.S. Military with an honorable discharge, resident of Florida, and actively serving as a community advocate, blazing a trail in corporate, non-profit or entrepreneurship.

“The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival is honored to recognize our Caribbean-American Veterans”, stated June Minto, Managing Partner of Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, Inc., “The festival occurs a few days after Veterans Day and working with the Reyes’ and the Courage & Grace Foundation is only fitting that we recognize these Caribbean-American Veterans for their contribution to the community as they continue to serve.”

First Sergeant (Retired) Daila Espeut-Jones and Master Sergeant (Retired) Andrew Rhagnanan are the recipients of the 2022 Inaugural Veteran Trailblazer award. Both veterans will be recognized at the festival during a presentation ceremony.

Kenneth and Maxine Reyes are both retired from the military and founded the Courage & Grace Foundation, a 501( c ) 3 non-profit that supports Girls Confidence and Youth Education programs in the U.S. and the Caribbean through scholarships, mentorship, and the arts. The organization also supports causes that assist military women and families.

As a proud immigrant who served in the U.S. military, Maxine, who is the CEO, decided to incorporate a cultural diversity program where her organization honors veterans of Caribbean heritage who are blazing their trails and lifting others while they rise in their communities. She has partnered with the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival to recognize outstanding Individuals who served in the U.S. military and are exemplary philanthropic leaders in their community.

The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival is the signature Caribbean event merging food, music, and entertainment in South Florida. Every year over 15,000 fun-loving guests attend the event to immerse themselves in a cultural Caribbean experience beyond their imagination. Patrons can download the app from the Google Play Store or the ITunes app store by searching Jamaican Jerk Festival.

The 20th Annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival is presented by Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, Inc. in association with Partners for Youth Foundation. Sponsors are Grace Foods, Publix Supermarkets, The City of Miramar, Waste Pro, Visit Lauderdale, Guinness, The Jamaica Tourist Board, Memorial Hospital, National Weekly, WAVS 1170 and HOT105.