| A large crowd gathered and mingled on Sunday during the BDARRT fundraiser.
|Several items were up for auction. Mark and Caitlyn did a great job of getting the crowd to raise their bids for BDARRT!|
|Afterwards, it was only right that the dancing start! Sunday proved to be a great cause for celebration as over $17,000 was raised to help this worthy cause! |
On Sunday, August 27th, the local community turned out to assist one of the most important service organizations on the island. Sueño del Mar hosted a fund raiser to help the Belize Disaster and Rescue Response Team (BDARRT) raise money to not only buy much needed equipment but to also improve on their services offered.
The Ambergris Caye branch of BDARRT was formed as part of the Ambergris Caye Rescue Team who went through extensive training to excel to that level. Since receiving their training, BDARRT members have assisted in two recoveries and a rescue. “We are always hoping for rescues rather than recoveries. As a part of the BDARRT team we are always on hand to assist the entire country and Central America with any rescue assistance that they might need,” commented Sterling Vorus, member of BDARRT, “it is clear by the community’s support that we are a much needed service and we plan to step up to the plate and meet those needs.” When asked what BDARRT plans to do with the money raised, Vorus told The San Pedro Sun that among other things, “We hope to purchase a boat that is specifically for BDARRT, of course Island Ferry boats will always be available for back up support but we can better serve the community when BDARRT has its own boat that is fully rescue equipped.”
During the day, friends and families were treated to a great afternoon filled with delightful music and tasty treats including chicken barbecue and coconut and oatmeal cookies. An auction was held were people had the opportunity to bid on prizes donated by generous businesses and individuals, ranging from night stays in San Pedro as well as the mainland, to dinners and art work. At the end of the day, BDARRT had proudly raised $17,000.
In an interview with John Turley of Sueño del Mar, Turley commented “Having an emergency rescue service in place like BDARRT is invaluable to the island and its residents. It not only offers a sense of assurance that rescue service is available to visiting tourists but it is a comfort for residents as well. Whether we are in the water for recreation or simply being transported by boat, we are all affected by the surrounding sea.” Turley said it was great to see local participation and support for the event.
BDARRT is a non-profit, non-government funded organization. San Pedro’s Island Ferry has assisted with all operations and their boat captains are being trained to better render assistance. Once a rescue is called forth, the Island Ferry closes all operations and boats are dispatched to the area needed. In the past two recoveries, the Island Ferry has spent over $2,000 on fuel alone, not to mention man-power. Proper equipment is also needed as well as additional training and the monies raised will certainly be of good use. For more information and how to donate please contact Sterling at number (610) 3411.