NCVO telethon raises more than $130,000

Isadora Ferrao sings with Bona Fide. - PHOTOS: SIMON PITCHER

The National Council of Voluntary Organisations took over the Prospect Playhouse Saturday night and raised $132,000 in pledges during the five-hour radio and telethon fundraiser Saturday night.

The annual event fell just short of its $140,000 goal for the NCVO’s children’s service programs, but the organization’s executive director Janice Wilson described the night as “a great success.”

“It was a great example of how the community comes together to support us,” she said.

The donations came from all over the island, with children donating the change in their pockets up to big corporate donations, she said.

Aired live on Cayman 27 and Radio Cayman, the night included performances by Melody Allenger, Quincy Brown, Trinity, Gordon Solomon and others.

Joan Wilson read poetry and Flamenco Caribe showed off Spanish music and dance.

Andre Garcia plays at the telethon Saturday.
Andre Garcia plays at the telethon Saturday.

The money goes to support the NCVO’s children’s programs, including Miss Nadine’s Pre-School, the Jack and Jill Nursery and Early Learning Centre, and the Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home.

The foster home currently takes care of nine children who were removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. Children are placed in the home based on referrals from the Department of Children and Family Services through the courts.

Government pays for about half the costs of running the foster home, with the remainder coming from donors to the NCVO.

Children in the home get to be involved in after-school programs like scouts, cadets, dance, horseback riding and many other activities. Students also receive specialized tutoring and help with school work.

The NCVO notes,  “We aim to provide a secure, nurturing and friendly environment in which children are encouraged to work cooperatively. Staff members work with residents on developing life skills to enable them to become self-sufficient.”

The organization works to help families come back together again or place children with adoptive parents.

The money will also help support the John R. Gray Memorial Fund that helps students who have been accepted to university cover expenses they could not otherwise afford. The fund pays for up to $2,500 to help students working on their first degree to cover the cost of books, transportation, room and board or other expenses.

The preschool program offers early childhood education with fees based on family income. The fees include breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks for children. About half of the school’s roughly $510,000 annual budget comes from donations, according to the NCVO.

At the nursery and early learning center, the NCVO cares for children who are 4 months to 2 years old. The organization says more than half of the $130,000 budget for the Jack and Jill Nursery and Early Learning Centre comes from donations.

Ms. Wilson said the organization’s project list for next year should be out next month as they figure out their priorities for 2017.

She encouraged people to pay their pledges by sending a check, dropping by the NCVO office or paying on the organization’s website.

This article was amended from the original to correct Melody Allenger’s name.