Rain falls, treats FLOW
Rain didn't stop patrons from streaming into Jamworld, Portmore, St Catherine, for the 2016 staging of FLOW Skool Aid on Sunday. The back-to-school treat, now in its seventh year, pulled a huge crowd as parents and children packed the venue in hopes of receiving well-needed school supplies.
FLOW's sponsorship and events manager, Stephen Miller, told The Gleaner that the treat is a calendar event that the company looks forward to hosting each year. He was happy that even with the inclement weather, persons still turned up to support the initiative.
"With the rains, I thought it was going to dampen the support, but the place is packed. People came out just as much," he said. "I think the tremendous value that we give is one of the reasons why the people support us so much. Back to school is such a hectic and pressure-filled time for both parents and children that this one-stop shop that we have created has come to be very much appreciated by consumers over the years."
Asked how much longer the company will be able to support such a massive event given the country's economic condition, Miller sought to reassure supporters that the FLOW Skool Aid will continue for years to come.
"I must tell you that our investment in Skool Aid since its inception has been over $400 million, so clearly, it costs to put it on," he explained. "On the other hand, when you see the value and what we're able to do for so many people, we have to do it. When the budget is cast every year, the first item that is on the list is Skool Aid, so everything else is secondary. It is our biggest give-back initiative for the year, so we won't stop."
IMPROVE EACH STAGING
Miller also said that the company tries to improve the event each year, to give additional value to supporters.
"It is a well-oiled machine right now, but we continue to try and improve the event every year. This year, we increased the size of the medical area and augmented the amount of staff there, because at the end of the day, it's about giving back to as much people as you can," he said.
FLOW handed out 21 scholarships valued at $10,000 each. Children were able to access free haircuts and medicals, as well as eyesight and hearing tests. They also received school supplies such as bags, books and other stationery.
In addition to the giveaways, patrons were also treated to an entertainment-filled day. Rides kept the children busy throughout the day, while the concert in the night closed the curtain on yet another eventful staging of the back-to-school treat. Kevin Downswell, Ding Dong, Bugle and Christopher Martin were among the artistes who entertained the large gathering.
Although all the artistes performed well, Minister Downswell, Ding Dong, and Bugle were among those who received the biggest response from the crowd.