Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Telethon Jamaica raises $60 million; more donations being targeted

Published:Saturday | May 23, 2020 | 12:00 AM

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, says Telethon Jamaica has so far raised $60 million to purchase personal protective equipment (PPEs) for front line workers. 

The government had set out to raise US$10.5 million.  

A release from her ministry said the announcement was made as she accepted a symbolic cheque for $2 million from Restaurants of Jamaica Group, operators of the KFC and Pizza Hut franchises in Jamaica, on yesterday at her ministry's New Kingston office. 

“We are now up to 60 million dollars in collection and pledges. We have collected most of what has been pledged and today, KFC ha[s] delivered their cheque to us,” Grange said.  

Andrei Roper, brand manager for Restaurants of Jamaica, said the contribution was "necessary" donation for the company.

 “It was necessary for us to step up and make a contribution like this to show how much we value the contribution being made by those persons who are putting themselves at risk for all of us on a day-to-day basis.” 

Grange said she is heartened by the support Telethon Jamaica continues to receive. 

“I am really happy to see how Corporate Jamaica and the Jamaica Diaspora have contributed tremendously to this effort,” she said, acknowledging the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organisations in the United States which originally pledged US$10,000 but contributed US$11,000. 

Grange said the effort has also benefited from sizable contributions from the Bob Marley Foundation, Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League, Ziggy Marley, Rohan Marley, Alacran, Keith Duncan, the St Thomas Renaissance Foundation, Joe Bogdanovich, Usain Bolt, Blackpoint Electronics, DAN Industries and Robert Livingston. 

The culture minister said the process of transferring the money collected to the National Health Fund, which is the government agency procuring PPEs for front line workers, has started. 

Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Fund, Everton Anderson, said the telethon has assisted to equip front line workers with the gear they need. 

“To date, we’ve received in the region of US$80,000 yesterday; another US$47,000 prior and about J$12 million.  This is a major initiative and a successful initiative and we must commend all the persons involved in coming up with this idea. It has really brought overseas Jamaicans, individuals and businesses, together, doing something positive for Jamaica and the health team, every single health worker, appreciates this,” Anderson said. 

Grange also thanked members of the entertainment community, locally and overseas, for contributing their time and effort towards equipping front line workers with PPEs. 

“A number of Jamaica artistes came on board and continue to give support,” said Minister Grange. 

Highlights this Monday

She said highlights of Telethon Jamaica will be broadcast on national television and on social media across on Monday, May 25, and will feature some of the artistes who were not in the original broadcast. 

Grange said that people will be able to make a contribution to the effort to provide PPEs for front line workers while enjoying the music. 

“It’s not only about the money,” said Grange. “It’s also about sharing with others the inspiration that will come from the performances that we will see as we stand together in this time.” 

The two-hour Telethon Jamaica Highlights Show will be broadcast and streamed online from 5:00 p.m. on Monday on TVJ, 1 Spot Media, PBC Jamaica, OnStage TV, The Gleaner’s website, VP Records’ YouTube channel, Caribbean Elite Magazine’s YouTube channel, Jamaicans Inspired UK Social Media Platforms, CEEN TV, C Core TV New York, Reggae Social Media Facebook page, Live Reggae TV’s Facebook page, Flexx FM Miami, Reggaeville’s Facebook page, SLEEK Jamaica’s Instagram page. 

To make a donation online, persons should visit www.jatogetherwestand.com or www.mypaymaster.com.  

To donate by telephone, persons my call 876-960-9632-4, 1-866-228-8393 (toll free from Jamaica, the United States or Canada) or +44 0808 189 6147 (toll free from the UK and Europe).  

Cash and cheque donations are accepted at any Paymaster location in Jamaica.  

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