MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA, MAY 16, 2016: Books4Kids Jamaica announced today the completion of its 5th Annual Online Charity Auction and fundraising effort, raising a record breaking US$100,313 towards books and educational materials for Kindergarten children across the country. In addition to the charity’s online auction raising US$88,000, the early childhood education initiative has received more than US$12,000 in monetary contributions making the final tally just over US$100,000.
“We are extremely touched by the support we have received from our friends in the local and international travel and hospitality industry, which is reflected in this year’s incredible results.”
Books4Kids Jamaica Chairperson Ragni Trotta.
This year, the charity tempted bidders from 9 countries with more than 100 auction items to include airline tickets, luxury cruises, golf experiences, restaurant meals, electronics, luxury items and hotel stays all over the world.
“I just love supporting Books4Kids Jamaica and knowing that every dollar I spend in the auction goes towards buying books for school children every year, year after year.”
William Craig, Chairman and CEO of Billy Craig Insurance, program sponsor since the initiatives very beginning in 2008.
Glenn Lawrence, CEO of Couples Resorts, ran away with this year’s most coveted auction item; a 12-day All-inclusive Cruise for Two with the Holland America Line to the Destination of Choice. Said Lawrence, the winning bidder of the cruise and several other items;
“The auction provided an excellent range of prizes for good value all around. The real time auction platform gave you a pretty interactive approach to the bidding process and the overall experience was first class.”
The charity celebrated the last hours of the 2016 fundraising effort with a Charity Auction Party at Usain Bolt’s Track & Records in Kingston on the evening of Saturday May 7th with radio host Heather ‘Brown Sugar’ Grant rallying the crowds to engage in the bidding. With airline ticket being among the auction’s most popular items, long term auction sponsors Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways showed their support for the early childhood education initiative by attending the Books4Kids Jamaica Auction Party.
“JetBlue applauds the efforts of Books4Kids and is a proud supporter of its efforts to better the lives of Jamaica’s children. Youth and Education is a key part of our efforts in corporate social responsibility and in our mission to inspire humanity. Our partnership with Books4Kids is one that we value highly as we work to live this mission.”
Leslie Brown, General Manager of JetBlue Airways Jamaica and Cayman Islands.
With 12 Kingston schools among last year’s distribution list of 90 schools island-wide, Books4Kids Jamaica hopes to expand its book distributions in the inner city areas of Kingston and add two more parishes to this year’s distribution.
“While our primary goal is to raise enough fund to continue supporting the 90 schools and 8,600 children that currently form part of our program, the success of this year’s fundraising effort will allow us to help even more children this year. Helping Kindergarten children get the tools they need to learn to read and write is a clearly a cause that resonates with many and we wish to thank everyone who made cash donations or contributed to the auction by donating auction items, participating in the bidding or helping us spread the word.”
Ragni Trotta, Chairperson of Books4Kids Jamaica