AIDS Radiothon raises $25K

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 14, No. 31            September 2, 2004

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"HIV/AIDS Prevention" and "No Tolerance for Discrimination" were the main messages echoed over Reef Radio airwaves last Saturday, August 28th. During the live broadcast from San Pedro’s Central Park, the Living With Hope radiothon achieved its goal of $25,000, thanks to the support of many generous individuals, families, and businesses on this island. 

    Spearheaded by Ms. Dolores Balderamos Garcia, the Living With Hope project was created with the assistance of a group of individuals who devised a plan to alleviate suffering and render aid to People Living with HIV/AIDS. All of the contributions collected during the countrywide broadcast will directly benefit People Living with HIV/AIDS, especially children orphaned by the epidemic.

    The San Pedro fundraiser was held simultaneously with a radiothon and concert/telethon which took place at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City. A large number of talented musicians "played their hearts out" for this worthy cause and encouraged others to donate to this humanitarian effort.

    Beginning at 10 o’clock Saturday morning, the staff of Reef Radio, members of Belize Telecommunication Limited, the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross, the Salvadoran Community, the San Pedro AIDS Commission, as well as many other concerned citizens rendezvoused at Central Park to join hands, voices, and spirit to increase community awareness of this deadly epidemic. At the same time, the group encouraged everyone to donate generously to this worthy cause.

    With help from members of the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross and the Salvadoran Community, who took to the streets to collect donations, the money started to pour in. Several individuals from the community visited the park to offer their support, while others phoned to pledge a donation. As the day went on, more people joined the radiothon team in the hope of reaching their goal of $25,000 by 6:00 p.m.

    Shortly after midday, the group received a brief but very encouraging visit from the National Project Coordinator, Ms. Balderamos Garcia, who made a special plea for all San Pedro residents to join in this endeavor.

    With only minutes to spare, the San Pedro fundraiser was lacking $840.99 to reach their target. Finally, Mrs. Emerita Graniel, a generous sponsor who had previously pledged $1,000, called in once again and gallantly offered the balance needed, making her San Pedro’s largest contributor to the local radiothon.

    San Pedro’s contribution, added to the nationwide radiothon, plus over $10,000 raised by a health fair hosted by the Consortium for Belizean Development in Los Angeles, California, USA, brought the Living With Hope Radiothon grand total to $97,527 in donations and pledges.

    Through this medium, the organizers of the Living With Hope project express their heartfelt thanks to all of the organizers, volunteers, announcers, and collection agents, as well as each and every individual and business who contributed to this fund to assist People Living With HIV/AIDS in Belize.
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