Sunday 12 July, 2020

SunNation, Barita partner for major donations to FFP and Mustard Seed

Regional carnival promotions company SunNation recently partnered with corporate sponsor Barita Investments to host ‘Sunrise Live for Charity’, an initiative aimed at benefitting both farmers and communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative raised approximately $2 million through donations from Barita, SunNation and those attending the event online. The funds raised were used to donate food care packages to the Food For the Poor (FFP) and Mustard Seed Communities

With a number of farmers impacted by the closure of hotels, restaurants and stores and the resulting loss of sales amid COVID-19, approximately 5,000 lbs of produce was procured by SunNation, which was purchased through Glastonbury Purveyors, and given to both the Mustard Seed Communities and Food For The Poor. In addition, each charity received a cash donation of J$380,250, towards purchasing essential grocery products. Finally, over $500,000 worth of protective masks were all donated to both entities.

Philip “PP” Palmer, Managing Director for SunNation, stated “With the obvious devastating effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to do something meaningful.  The proceeds raised being used vertically – with the procurement of produce from farmers and then donations through Food for the Poor and Mustard Seed served that purpose.”

SunNation is known widely around the region for hosting anchor carnival events such as Sunrise Breakfast Party, Sundown Cooler Fete and Cocoa Jouvert in Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Miami.

Like many sectors, the entertainment industry has been hard hit by the effects of the recent lockdowns with many events being cancelled and/or postponed. SunNation’s series of carnival events suffered such a fate – including the largest event of the carnival season Sunrise Breakfast Party.

SunNation, though, was able to turn this disappointment around in a true “lemons to lemonade” fashion and proceeded to host a virtual version of the event to provide entertainment sorely missed by its patrons and at the same time assist those severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The show, which was livestreamed on the company’s Instagram page, was headlined by the likes of Iwer George and Voice, as well as international DJs Puffy, Private Ryan and Jazzy T, with artistes Konshens and Afro B making special appearances, all hosted by Barrie Hype.

Barita incentivized the SunNation family of patrons to join the event by pledging donations on behalf of every viewer that watched the free concert.

“We are very pleased that when we first approached Deputy Chairman Paul Simpson with the concept he immediately said yes, Barita was fully onboard and they have been an amazing partner in this initiative,” Palmer added. “Additionally we sincerely thank our attendees and to Advantage General who contributed to the fundraiser”.

In the meantime, Rev Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, founder of the Mustard Seed Communities, said: “We can’t reiterate how thankful, not just me (but) our staff and most importantly our children are for all of you all for this amazing, and this really is amazing, donation.”

Ramkissoon made the remarks as he received the donation of goods and a cheque from Palmer and Ramon Small Ferguson, Vice President, Asset Management and Research, Barita Investments.

Upon receiving their care package from Palmer and Barita’s Head of Wealth Management Kerrie Baylis, Executive Director for Food For The Poor, Kivette Silvera, added: “We thank you from the bottom of our heart...without someone like yourselves we couldn’t do what we’re doing….(for) persons out there in need, that we serve on a daily basis, this goes a mile. You know in Jamaica we say “every mickle mek a muckle”... If everyone helps one then each life will be changed, so on behalf of everyone from Food For The Poor, for the food packages and the masks, we thank Sunnation and we thank Barita."

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