THE National Community Foundation (NCF) is asking Saint Lucians to dig deep into their pockets as it prepares to host its 13th Annual National Telethon on Sunday, May 22, at the National Cultural Centre.
NCF’s Executive Director, Madonna Monrose, says the non-profit organization is moving full speed ahead with preparations and has already received commitments from a number of artistes scheduled to perform this year, as well as from corporate sponsors who will be making cheque presentations.
Monrose said that, like last year, this year’s telethon has been downsized to reduce costs. As such, while performances and presentations will be made in-house on the day, audience members will only comprise volunteers, corporate sponsors and those manning the phones to solicit pledges. However, while the event will be broadcast live via the National Television Network (NTN), Monrose is hoping that other television networks would tap into that feed.
The event will begin from 1 p.m. and run until 6 p.m. During the final hour, world-acclaimed guitarist, Ronald “Boo” Hinkson, will perform. In fact, this year’s telethon pays tribute to the iconic musician who has provided unwavering service to the NCF for many years, especially mentoring at-risk youth.
Pledging will begin at 1 p.m. and run for four hours during which time at-home audiences will get to view performances by Rob “Zii” Taylor featuring his band Black Sheep, RasIzley, Steel Rock, TC Brown, Arthur Allain, to name a few. The work of the NCF will also be highlighted during that time.
Pledges can be made via the telephone donation line 453 GIVE (4483) or via 1st National Bank account # 8405087 or Bank of Saint Lucia account # 104511121.
Monrose said the NCF, often referred to as the “national koudmain”, is extremely grateful to everyone who has and will contribute either cash or kind to making this year’s telethon a success. The target figure has been kept at $200,000, which the NCF came close to hitting at last year’s telethon.
“We have kept it at that amount this year because we’ve realized that things have not picked up as we would have liked them to,” Monrose told The VOICE yesterday. “However, that does not mean that the demands on the NCF are any less. On the contrary, the demands keep increasing every year, especially in health.”
Sticking to its mantra of giving back and its tagline, “Caring By Sharing”, anyone making a walk-in pledge of any amount to the NCF’s High Street office by Friday, May 20 will be eligible to win a number of prizes, including a trip to Martinique. That draw will take place during the telethon. Another draw will also reward one of NCF’s monthly contributors, while a long-serving volunteer will receive a special prize.
Monrose said the demands for medical assistance often surpass what the NCF budgets for that aspect of its programme. With the NCF’s financial resources depended primarily on donations, she said the more pledges made to the non-profit organization redounds to more people being assisted.
While the funds raised during the annual telethon does not comprise the NCF’s total annual budget, the organization nevertheless provides support to beneficiaries in eight areas: youth-at-risk, elderly, retired persons, education of disadvantaged children (scholarship programme), healthcare for disadvantaged persons, assistance for homeless/disadvantaged persons, persons with disabilities, and the school and community chess programmes.