Community celebrations get boost

Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley, (left) accepting the cheque from GEL’s Tracey Shuffler while Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Ernesta Drakes looks on.

This year’s community independence celebrations got a financial boost.

And as he thanked Goddard Enterprises Ltd, for contributing $30,000 to the staging of the launch, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley called on other businesses to step forward.

Goddard’s Deputy Divisional General Manager, Import Distribution and Marketing Division, Tracey Shuffler said that this year they had increased their level of sponsorship to the celebrations.

“Mainly because we believe the programme is one that fits very well with the values of the Goddard Group of Companies, based on youth development and involvement with the community as it relates to Independence and we certainly look forward to our ongoing involvement as well as to find ways that we can in fact work with some of the parish ambassadors to introduce them to some of our companies even this year. We’re hoping to do some tours with them if they have the time during their schedule to join us. We would like that to happen so that we can have further ties as they develop in their programmes,” she said.

Lashley thanked GEL for their financial support over the years and for what he called their “show of confidence” which came via the increase in financial support.

“I believe that this show of confidence ought to inspire other corporate citizens to come on board and support what I believe is certainly a very, very useful programme. It has helped to certainly develop many of our young people at the community level and of course, because of the nature of the programme, it has the national impact as well,” he said.

The presentation ceremony was held at his Warrens, St. Michael office.

Lashley said that the programme, which starts this Saturday with a launch at the Jackie Opel Amphitheatre, had proven itself to be very useful in “rekindling and sensitising” communities about the importance of Independence and had engendered the ownership of independence activities.

“Along with the lighting ceremony which of course we seek to light as many of our roundabouts as possible each year, the feedback and I believe the kind of responses we’ve gotten have proven that this programme has worked to bring to the community the spirit of independence,” he said.

The presentation was witnessed by Co-ordinator of the Community Independence Secretariat, Curtis Gibbons and Permanent Secretary Ernesta Drakes.

Gibbons said that it cost $600,000 to fund the entire programme. (DS)

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