Two years after the “RISE UP SVG” concert was held in response to the December 2013 floods, funds generated by the concert were finally handed over for the purpose it was raised.
At a brief ceremony held at the KPMG conference room in Kingstown Park on Tuesday May 24, organizers of the event, Luke Boyea of radio station Hot 97.1FM, along with producer Alex “Kubiyashi” Barnwell, presented a cheque valued EC$185,000 to Luis De Shong, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment.
Vincentian international soca star Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle, who was also a force behind the event, was absent from the presentation because of travel duties.
De Shong promptly handed over the cheque to Richard Hutchinson of Hutchinson Construction Company Limited, the contractors who successfully carried out repairs on the Maternity ‘A’ ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, for which the monies were raised.
The ward, along with other parts of the hospital, was ravaged by the December 26, 2013 floods, which claimed six lives, and left two others persons missing.
Boyea, Barnwell and Doyle, enlisted the services of a number of local, regional and international artistes and entertainers to pull off the April 2014 event, which also saw a number of major local corporations coming on board for the fundraiser.
As an act of transparency, the organizers solicited the services of KPMG, who volunteered their services to manage the receipts from the event, and in turn appointed economist Sir Errol Allen and former magistrate Simone Churaman as trustees to the account, and also supervised the deposit at the Bank of Nova Scotia.
Boyea and Barnwell used Tuesday’s event to once again thank all who were involved in the concert for their contribution.
The men praised the Vincentian society for rallying together and giving their full support during a national time of need, and also thanked KPMG, Churaman, Allen, the Ministry of Health and contractors for the part they played in making the process complete.
Health Planner in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment David Latchman, who spoke on behalf of the ministry, also voiced his appreciation for the effort of all those involved, as he indicated that the reconstruction of the ward took longer than expected, and like everyone else, he was happy that the project was finally completed to everyone’s satisfaction.
The Maternity A ward is now complete and functional, and boasts its own operating theatre. The location currently houses two more operating rooms, while the main operating theatre currently undergoes reconstruction, also being done by Hutchinson Construction Company Limited.
The contractor, who noted that the project entailed more work than was initially expected, pointed out that the ward is now a top-of-the-line facility, and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to be able to contribute to the project.