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Joe to the rescue, again

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 19, 2019

REGGAE Sumfest principal, Josef Bogdanovich, intends to extend a helping hand to hurricane-ravaged islands of The Bahamas through his Caribbean Love Now initiative. The launch is scheduled for H&L Rapid True Value at Lane Plaza in Kingston today at 11:30 am.

“We're reaching to a lot of people in The Bahamas who were hard-hit by Hurricane Dorian...there are many Jamaicans over there. I'll be speaking with the prime minister (Hubert Minnis) too,” the American businessman told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

For today's launch, Alveta Knight, Honorary Counsul for The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is slated to be in attendance. According to Bogdanovich, several of his companies will be involved in the project.

“We will be raising money through the H&L [Hardware and Lumber] lumber stores... bins will be placed at H&L Agro, Rapid True Value and H&L Lumber throughout the island starting tomorrow (today), where people can make donations,” he said.

On September 2-3, Hurricane Dorian, with sustained winds of 185 mph (295 km/h), destroyed sections of The Bahamas, killing 50 people with approximately 1,300 others unaccounted for. Thousands of persons are homeless with no electricity or running water, and property damage is estimated at US$7 billion.

In November 2017, Bogdanovich rolled out the Caribbean Love Now initiative, through a Jamathon concert, to raise money for Caribbean countries hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September that year and left damage of more than US$62.87 million.

From the evacuation of annihilated islands like Barbuda to the loss of power and water supplies in Puerto Rico and Dominica, more than 166 lives were lost in the passage of the category 5 systems.

The show was streamed online and saw Jamaicans donating cash and kind. Among the donors were Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who gave US$1,500, Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange, who pledged $100,000, and Bogdanovich, who gave US$15,000.

Reggae Sumfest promoter Robert Russell also pledged US$1,500.

The concert also received support from members of the Jamaican music fraternity, including Beres Hammond, Beenie Man, Toots and The Maytals, Sean Paul, Third World, Jah Cure, and Trinidadian soca artistes Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons.

Bogdanovich said he did not want to go the concert route again.

“We're not doing a concert...we don't do the same thing. We keep it current. There are a lot of people doing various events. We're one of many. We're keeping it fresh,” he said.