Bogdanovich launches hurricane relief campaign

- major fund-raiser to assist hurricane battered islands

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 06, 2017



Investor Joe Bogdanovich yesterday announced plans for a major hurricane relief effort involving benign Jamaicans willing to support rebuilding programmes in Caribbean islands devastated by recent hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Bogdanovich told guests, well-wishers, and the media attending the launch of his Caribbean Love hurricane relief programme that all 11 local companies with which he is associated — including the Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records at the Marketplace, Kingston, where the launch was held; Reggae Sumfest; Downsound Records; Downsound Entertainment; FranJam; KLE; Hardware and Lumber; Rapid True Value; H&L Agro; Argyle Industries; and the “R” Hotel in New Kingston which is close to completion — will be at the disposal of the effort.

He said he plans to take the drive beyond Jamaica, to include people from around the world who would wish to assist these island back on their feet.

He called all Jamaicans to recognise the fact that many of the islands have been hard hit by the hurricanes, and need help to revive their economies.

“We must now join together and bring support; not only from all of Jamaica, but from around the world to initiate this campaign,” he said.

He said that his companies' 800 full-time employees and 150 part-time employees have also made a commitment to the battered islands' recovery efforts.

Bogdanovich said he has already spoken with Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit, who has since sent his appreciation to citizens of Jamaica for their concern; as well as the managing director of Red Stripe, Ricardo Nuncio, who has promised the full support of his Heineken brand as a global product.

Bogdanovich, who has played a major role in the recent success of the popular, annual Jamaican music festival, Reggae Sumfest, also announced that a major benefit concert and telethon is expected to be held in Kingston by November. He said that, in addition to some Jamaican artistes, he will be inviting leading artistes from eastern Caribbean and elsewhere to join the effort.

“We are committed to making a difference. We will fly to these islands and speak to various administrative officials. We will consult with the Salvation Army to help deploy the goods and cash from these companies, and have a clear understanding on how we, as a group, and as a nation, can make a productive difference to returning growth and stability to these countries,” he told the launch.

He added that Hardware and Lumber would donate equipment and building supplies. However, he appealed to Jamaicans to donate canned food, clothing, tarpaulins, batteries, and solar lamps to all 15 Hardware & Lumber, Rapid True Value and H&L Agro stores across the island for shipping to affected islands.

Reggae singer Tarrus Riley, who was a special guest at the function, said that he had agreed to support the effort, including the concert promotion, as he felt that local entertainers should give back to the Caribbean audiences which have remained loyal to their music over the years.

“I believe all of us who can help should help. I think we need to use our talent and our celebrity status to do whatever we can to help our neighbours' recovery,” he told the Observer.

Bogdanovich said that he would also be calling out to corporations and other artistes, personally, to join the campaign.

“Now more than ever we have to stand up for our Caribbean brothers and sisters. No one could have imagined that so much could have been lost so quickly. Jamaica is in a position to help in a meaningful way, but we must act now, and we must act together and make an important difference,” he said.

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