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Shaggy and Friends concert earns J$70m for Bustamante Children's Hospital

Saturday, January 25, 2014 | 12:08 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Following the staging of another successful Shaggy and Friends charity concert on January 4, The Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation has donated the proceeds from the event, totalling J$70 million, to the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

Shaggy, who spoke on behalf of the Foundation, said that the money raised to improve the Catheterisation Laboratory (Cath lab) at the hospital was not a first-time effort.

“We have always bought equipment for the hospital itself, we get a needs list and we go through it and source what we can … the past two staging of Shaggy and Friends was mainly for the Cath lab. Digicel came on board and put up almost US$1 million for the cardiac ward,” Shaggy said.

At the handing-over ceremony Thursday at the hospital, Shaggy along with several sponsors, presented the $70-million cheque to Dr Lambert Innis, head of the anaesthesia and intensive care unit.

The entertainer commented that unless a child can be flown overseas to have cardiac surgery done, that child's chance of surviving becomes less likely.

“We came on board to help. I’ve personally sat through a cardiac surgery and I remember speaking to the parent and how distressed she was. With this cardiac ward and this Cath lab these children will have a fighting chance. These doctors do amazing work and we should all be interested in getting this ward up,” said Shaggy

The donation to the Cath lab came from ticket sales to the concert, as well as donations from both private and corporate sponsors.

Shaggy said that this year’s staging of the concert was different as there was no auction. However, there was a live stream on the Internet and the concert was broadcast, both live and delayed, to several states in the US as well as to islands in the Caribbean.

“The live stream helped to raise some money and prompted a lot of donations from various private donors,” he explained.

Private donors included DJ Squeeze of Linkup Radio, who gave J$1 million, and athlete Yohan Blake, who also pledged J$1 million.

Other donations included US$20,500 from Food For the Poor as well as J$389,200 via the Digicel Text line. Corporate donations included J$3.75 Million from SportsMax and Jamaica National Building Society, which handed over US$8,110 after a pledge to donate US$1 from the proceeds of each money transfer from the United States to Jamaica between January 2 to 15.

Dr Innis at the handing over of the cheque commended the Foundation for its dedication to the hospital, and a plaque was presented to Shaggy by head of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) Lyttleton Shirley and businessman Kenny Benjamin.

The Shaggy and Friends Charity Concert is a biennial event held in Jamaica to offer assistance to the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

Over 10,000 patrons attended the 2014 staging of the concert. Performers included The Voice Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin and Voice competitor Matthew Schuler, as well as Konshens, Jah Cure, Wayne Marshall, and US R&B Singer Neyo.

Karim Smith

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