East 96.7 Fm had the privilege of being present as the Saint Thomas Renaissance Foundation, on Thursday May 14, 2020, presented a check of one million Jamaican dollars to the “Together we stand 2020 COVID-19 relief fund.” The relief effort initially was commenced with a telethon on Sunday April 12, 2020 that was the brain child of the Hon. Babsy Grange, the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports.

The presentation was covered for East 96.7 FM by Mrs. Jan Harrison-Cousins affectionately called “Aunty JC”. She is the charismatic host for “Link up the Youths”; a program that airs every Thursday from 3:30 pm-5:00 pm on East 96.7 Fm (and which is also streamed online at East96fm.com).

It was truly a momentous moment for the parish of St. Thomas and deep gratitude for the act of kindness was expressed by the Hon. Minister Babsy Grange while accepting the check that was handed over by Mr. Travis Smith, local representative, of the Saint Thomas Renaissance Foundation.

Minister Babsy Grange stated in essence that though St. Thomas is referred to as the forgotten parish it is certainly shining now. With the beautiful Toni-Ann Singh the reigning Miss. World, and one of the hottest Jamaican international recording artist Popcaan. She also made mention about the struggles Jamaicans have faced over the years, our fight for freedom and recognition as a people and the vital role St. Thomas has played at that time leading the nation towards independence. She highlighted one of Jamaica’s national Heroes Paul Bogle who was the straw that broke the back of slavery in Jamaica. Minister Grange stated that the “Together we stand” initiative as raised sixty million dollars to date to combat COVID-19.

The delegation representing St. Thomas included Miss. Kimberley Cummings president elect for the Kiwanis club of St. Thomas, Mr. Paul Watson past president of the South Haven Citizens Association; Mr. Marc Morgan a director for East 96.7 Fm; Mr. Newton Williams and other members from the Saint Thomas Renaissance Foundation. The Foundation has been established as a global organization for many years. However, the Jamaican chapter has been established for the past three years. The membership consists of “St. Thomians” residing in countries around the world including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Nigeria and the Cayman Islands. Their mandate is to uplift and recreate the parish of St. Thomas as a silent organization that provides the opportunity for the parish through socio-economic initiatives.

Contributor: Martin Henriques