Jamaica Observer:– Shaggy and Friends Foundation achieved its $100-million target following the staging of their biennial fund-raising concert at King’s House on January 6.
Shaggy made the announcement at a handing-over ceremony at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston in St Andrew yesterday.
While thanking the donors and sponsors as well as the patrons who helped to make the target a reality, Shaggy was nevertheless not pleased with what he called the “ridiculous expenses” associated with the event’s staging which amounted to $50 million.
“The good news is that we made the $100 million. The bad news is that our expenses were ridiculous. I want to just point out a bunch of things here. People fi know seh charity, yuh see da word deh charity… is a big word. When we come to people and we ask them to do things, people we have asked to do things for several concerts and then their bill comes in three and four times what it should be … it kinda raise a red flag fi me. We had over $50 million worth of expenditure for the show… that is a lot,” he told those gathered at the event.
Certain government agencies were singled out for their charges which contributed to the expense bill.
“Expenses that were incurred from government agencies such as lawn of the governor general $200,000; JaCAP (Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers Limited) $286,000; MPM waste $700,000, NWA (National Works Agency) $45,000. What we are doing is to help the hospital which is a government hospital … we are trying to make it easier on the government to ease the burden and I just think they should look into that word a little bit more and kinda help us where that is concerned. We appreciate all their help, and we appreciate everybody coming on board. It was an amazing show… it was great.”
“Because of our outside sponsorship and people who gave out of their pockets, donors from overseas and some corporate entities which might not be affiliated with Jamaica, we are back up at the $100 million. We are a charity and we believe in full transparency. It’s not that I am calling out anybody or dissing anybody.. it’s all about full transparency,”Shaggy said.
This year, the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital was the focus of the concert. Currently, the unit has only five beds catering to the needs of the Jamaican public plus the wider English-speaking Caribbean.
“We now need to plan how we will execute and make the ICU dream from five to 10 beds a reality. We need partners. We are open to anyone including a construction company who will now come in to make this a reality. We need partners. We have to figure out how we will expand the present facility to house the additional beds. One way is to build on top of the ICU, but we have to keep the present ICU up and running, we can’t do without an ICU. Again, I am begging the JDF (Jamaica Defence Force) some land,” Shaggy added.