Posted by William Inniss on Sep 23, 2019
Rotarians in Action at the Hurricane Dorian Relief Telethon 
Tuesday 10th September, 2019 the Rotary Family of the BVI in an epic telethon raised approximately $160,000 to aid victims of Hurricane Dorian which struck some islands of the Bahamas last week as a Category 5 Hurricane.

Initial reports are that at least 45 persons are dead, a large number are still unaccounted for, approximately 76,000 persons are in need of food and shelter and the damage to property and infrastructure in excess of $8 billion.  

BVI Rotarians moved quickly to help the Bahamas based on the BVI’s own experience of 2017 and the fact that the Bahamas falls within the same Rotary District (7020) as the BVI.

The event, which was organised by the presidents and other senior members of the BVI's three Rotary and two Rotaract clubs acting together under the chairmanship of Assistant Governor Lorna Smith, OBE, was held at Maria’s by the Sea and ran from 6pm to 10pm.  

Panelists included District Governor Delma Maduro, Past District Governor Vance Lewis, Past Assistant Governor Gerard Farara QC, President of Rotary Club of St Thomas II, Dr Gerry Smith and Mrs.Sharleen Dabreo-Lettsome, with Mrs. Smith serving as Moderator. ‘Visiting Panelists were HE Governor Jaspert, Acting Premier Vincent Wheatley and David Lomas of the BVI Red Cross. Premier Andrew Fahie who is traveling at the moment phoned in to encourage persons to donate to this critical cause and to pledge his own donation.

Panelists, together with the viewing and listening audiences, were able to hear firsthand from a range of persons on the ground in the Bahamas about the dire situation there including Immediate Past President of Rotary International Barry Rassin, himself a Bahamian, Past District Governor Felix Stubbs, who also chairs the District Disaster Committee, and a member of the BVI DDM team who is currently in the Bahamas lending support.

District Governor, Delma Maduro who is currently on a full travel schedule covering District 7020 which includes ten countries delayed her schedule to be a part of the event.  She said ‘I am pleased to support the District and my colleagues in the Bahamas in this tangible fashion and would encourage the BVI community to continue to reach out to the Bahamas by giving as much as you can.  Bahamas helped us through Rotary in 2017. It is now our turn to return the favour. I am grateful to the entire BVI Rotary Family for their hard work and dedication in pulling off this successful telethon.’

Assistant Governor Lorna Smith added that she is grateful to the sponsors CCT Life Unlimited, Maria’s by the Sea, One Mart, Caribbean Cellars and the French Deli for their contribution to the success of the event and that she encourages the BVI community to continue to give by getting in touch with any Rotarian who will pass on the contribution to the Rotary Family for onward transmission to the Bahamas. She continued that the Rotary family is grateful to all our media partners who made the evening the success that it was.

Since the telethon date, we have collected more funds including $10,000 donated by One Mart Supermarket.