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A local telethon to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina will be held on Sept. 30 at the Radisson Cable Beach Resort.
Franklyn Wilson, chairman of the Initiative dubbed "The Bahamas For America's Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund," said it was designed to demonstrate the solidarity of the people of The Bahamas with America. The death toll from Hurricane Katrina, estimated to be in thousands and growing, makes it the largest natural disaster in U.S. history.
"This Initiative is grounded on the old adage 'to do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you.' Whenever The Bahamas is faced with natural disasters, we inevitably benefit from the generosity of large numbers of Americans," said Mr Wilson.
"Secondly, The Bahamas is a part of the community of nations and it is simply the right thing for all countries to support each other in the face of natural disasters on a grand scale. Smallness of size of country is not a creditable excuse for not doing the right thing."
The chairman encouraged every person in The Bahamas to be a part of the private-sector led Initiative.
Apart from the telethon, the programme will also include a National Service of Prayer to be held on Sep. 29 at Mt. Tabor Church. The Bahamas Christian Council is leading that aspect of the Initiative.
Mr Wilson said ZNS Television and various radio stations would make it possible for people all over the country to hear and/or see the service. Additionally, Bishop Ellis, who visited New Orleans on Tuesday, is making it possible for both events to be carried around the world via the Internet.
The National Telethon, to include some of our country's most accomplished musicians, will be held at the Independence Ball Room of the Radisson from 8 p.m. to mid-night.
Organisers of the entire Initiative include: Alfred Jarrett, Chairman of the Bank of The Bahamas International; Wendall Jones, CEO of Jones Communications Ltd. and Bishop Neil Ellis, senior Pastor at Mt. Tabor Full Gospel Baptist Church.
Bishop Ellis said his church, and others in the Full Gospel Family, have joined forces and have merged with the Initiative.
The Bahamas Red Cross, which had already begun its own fundraising efforts for Katrina victims, merged those efforts with the initiative on Tuesday.
Mr Wilson said the organisers were also pleased that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fred Mitchell, consented to support the programme by assigning suitably skilled individuals to provide a Secretariat to the Fund.
Major supporters come from throughout the society and include: Ms Minna Israel, Managing Director of Scotiabank (Bahamas) Ltd.; Eileen Carron of The Tribune Media Group; Charles Carter from Carter Marketing and Publisher of The Nassau Guardian; Steve Haughey of Joy 101.9 FM; Galen Saunders of More 94.9 FM; William Holland, Managing Director of Sunshine Group of Companies; Leroy Archer from The Burns House Group and Robert Sands from BahMar Developers.
By: MINDELL SMALL, The Nassau Guardian