Canadian singer/songwriter Danny Michel has fallen in love with the Belizean Charm especially the warmth and friendliness of our sister island, Caye Caulker – La Isla Cariñosa. On July 1, 2010, Michel released his exuberant 8th studio record, “Sunset Sea.” Michel wrote and recorded his eighth full-length album, Sunset Sea in Belize, where he “rented a hut on the beach and went fishing and wrote songs all day.” He was obviously inspired by his breezy tropical surroundings; Sunset Sea is a warm record with a loose, easygoing vibe.
On his website Danny expressed that the experience he had in visiting the island and being inspired to write an album was so wonderful that he intended on doing it all over again. “After getting so much from this beautiful country, I feel it’s time I give something back,” stated Michel on his website. And with this in mind he opened The Danny Michel Ocean Academy Fund.
The Ocean Academy High School is the only high school on the island of Caye Caulker and currently hosts a total of 59 students from First form classes to Fourth Form. Ocean Academy is a non-profit school and is only partially funded by the Belizean government. Students pay tuition, books, uniform and school tuition is $1000usd/year (=$2000.00bzd). The school is constantly seeking out tuition scholarships for their students so that they don’t drop out due to financial strain and often barters tuition, donated school supplies, work-studies, and as many scholarships as it can find.
Danny’s goal was to raise $30,000USD by Christmas 2011. On Thursday, November 17, 2011, Danny presented a check in the amount of $20,170.00 USD to Ocean Academy High School for a scholarship fund. An official ceremony was held at the school ground where school officials, students and Minister Heredia were present for the grand occasion.
After class presentations Danny Michel officially presented the check to be utilized as a scholarship fund for students in need of financial assistance to pursue their much needed and valuable education. Vote of Thanks was delivered by Ramir Villanueva, President of OA Student Body in which he expressed his most sincere gratitude on behalf of the student council. “This Generous contribution will definitely help us greatly in our development into being young educated individuals in our community, who will excel academically and it will have a great impact on our future.”
“I can say that yesterday was the best day of my life and a wonderfully surreal experience,” stated Michel on his Facebook page. “I was welcomed at the school on behalf of your donations with a full hour long assembly of presentations, songs, poems, cards & speeches. I’m still buzzing from it all. I felt wonderful to deliver your donations personally right into the hands of the amazing students who inspired us all. I’m so proud and honored.”
Danny will be working the students of Ocean Academy during his visit and will be assisting teachers and students in songwriting for their upcoming Christmas Show on Saturday, December 10, 2011.