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(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – The development of the Arts, protection of children and blind welfare came into focus on Thursday this week as proceeds of the Prime Minister’s Annual Independence Ball, were distributed to three local organizations.
Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet explained that the annual ball, now in its second year and held on the eve of Independence, was more than just an opportunity to get dressed up.
“More importantly it is an opportunity to raise funds,” stated the Prime Minister as he spoke at Thursday morning’s handover ceremony. “The intent has always been to help contribute to the associations that are working so hard under very trying circumstances.”
This year’s event raised $60,067.24, with $15,000.00 going to the Holy Family Children’s Home, $15,000.00 to the School of Ballet and Modern Dance and $30,067.24 to the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association.
As the Prime Minister explained the rationale behind choosing the various recipients, he said in relation to the School of Ballet and Modern Dance, which has operated for 40 years, that “Arts and sports is about building character.”
“If a child can find a passion through any form, whether its football, dancing or playing an instrument, all these, if you want to be good at it require that same skillset; you have to be disciplined, competitive, focused. It unearths that talent.”
The Holy Family Children’s Home needed to be applauded, said PM Chastanet. “Why should any child be denied the opportunity to one day make a contribution to our society? That starts with love and love starts with a place of safety.”
The Prime Minister also spoke about the essential work of the Blind Welfare Association and challenged Saint Lucians to do the blindfold test and experience what it might be like to not have the ability of sight. PM Chastanet commended the association for its continued commitment to raising awareness of blindness in Saint Lucia.
“These are three organizations that I fully endorse and I believe they reflect the better part of our Saint Lucia community,” said PM Chastanet.
The Prime Minister went on to thank the team behind the annual ball and his wife, Mrs. Raquel DuBoulay-Chastanet, who is an integral part of the planning of the successful event. Also on the receiving end of thanks were all the supporters of the Ball, including attendees, sponsors, the diplomatic corps and the Saint Lucia business community.
On hand to receive the cheques on behalf of their organizations were Mrs Theresa Collymore, Director, St Lucia School of Ballet & Modern Dance, Ms Debora McClean, Officer Responsible for Administration, Finance and Project Development, St Lucia Blind Welfare Association and Sister Antonia David, Administrator of the Holy Family Children’s Home.