Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Shaggy Foundation ready to take on bigger role for kids - Entertainer inducted into volunteers' hall of fame

Published:Monday | December 12, 2016 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines
William Mahfood (right), chairman of Wisynco, joins Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell (centre), chairman of the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation, and his wife, Rebecca Burrell (second right), in presenting a cheque to Dr Michelle Anne Dawson (left), senior medical officer of the Bustamante Hospital for Children; Dr Lambert Innis, head of anaesthesia and intensive care. The occasion was the presentation of funds raised at the Shaggy & Friends 2016 concert to the Bustamante Hospital in Kingston on March 22.

After seven years of contributing to the improvement of children's health care in Jamaica, the Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation is looking to branch out into assisting in other areas of need for the nation's youth.

Speaking with The Gleaner, while representing her husband Orville 'Shaggy' Burrell at his induction into the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) Hall of Fame last Thursday, Rebecca Burrell said she felt an overwhelming sense of pride, honour and humility.

"No one does volunteerism for the accolades. They do it because they have this urge and desire to make a difference, and that's what our foundation is about - just making a difference," she said at the CVSS National Volunteer Awards Banquet, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Explaining the desire to take the foundation a step further, she said: " ... When we see the plight of children in the Caribbean, we want to focus more on [issues that affect] children. That includes child abuse, sexual molestation. This foundation has to go beyond the reaches of health care."

Shaggy was selected as the 2016 inductee into the 76-year-old CVSS Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Bustamante Hospital for Children and health care in general.

 

RESPONDING TO A NEED

 

Those contributions began after Shaggy visited a friend's son at the Bustamante Hospital in 2001 and became aware of the many obstacles faced by children in need of medical care. Over the next eight years, the international recording star made numerous personal donations of medical equipment, including two ventilators and a electroencephalogram (EEG) machine. He also funded the upgrade of the medical oxygen system and worked with Scotiabank to create a kiddies' park and recreation area.

In 2009, Shaggy introduced the Shaggy & Friends Benefit Concert, a sustainable event to raise funds to be donated to the Bustamante Hospital and the first event under his foundation.

In addition to Shaggy's induction into the Hall of Fame, three individuals and three organisations were honoured during the awards banquet, which took place two days after the December 5 observation of International Volunteers' Day.

Held this year under the theme 'Volunteerism as a catalyst for National Development', the biannual event recognises individuals, organisations and companies that have made sterling contributions to community development through volunteerism and volunteer management.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness delivered the keynote address, in which he detailed his experiences in volunteerism and encouraged others to volunteer, as it contributes greatly to nation building.

 

Awards recipients

 

- Orville 'Shaggy' Burrell - Inductee into the CVSS Hall of Fame

- Althea Peart, Marion Ballysingh - Outstanding Volunteers of the Year

- Neville Charlton - Young Leader Award

- Nadine Grant-Brown - Public Sector Volunteer of the Year

- Wisynco Group - Private Sector Organisation of the Year

- Digicel Foundation - Non-Profit Organisation of the Year

- Jamaica 4-H Clubs - CVSS Member Agency of the Year

 

syranno.baines@gleanerjm.com