By DANA SMITH
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE president of the Bahamas National Council of Disabilities said the group would be willing to accept a donation from one major gaming operator, following an offer made during a live radio broadcast.
Head of FML Group, Craig Flowers called into a local radio show yesterday morning – which featured disability council president Sheila Culmer as a guest – and offered to make a donation to the organisation.
The call sparked a minor debate on the show, with a few people questioning if Mr Flower’s offer was genuine or a means to gain support for the January 28 gambling referendum.
Ms Culmer told The Tribune yesterday his call came after she was asked about the organisation’s funding and a subsequent discussion that “relatively few persons” donate to the disabled.
Also brought up during the discussion was whether monies accrued from taxing gaming could benefit the disabled.
“I’m thinking of a group that I have worked with, all my life practically,” she said. “There are so many things the disabled are in need of and being disabled is expensive. If you have monies to give away to help fund sports, fund education, fund cultural activities, or what have you, then give some to the disabled to help fund their needs.”
It was at that point Mr Flowers called and made his offer, she said, noting although some people “are calculating that he has some ulterior motive,” she “didn’t see it.”
“Now I don’t know if he had an ulterior motive or if he was just interested. I don’t know, but he did say he had a brother with a disability so I suppose he can appreciate how expensive it is to take care of a person with a disability,” she said.
Ms Culmer noted Mr Flowers has not officially pledged an amount, but when asked if the disabilities council would accept a donation from Mr Flowers, Ms Culmer replied: “Why not.”
“I was speaking genuinely in terms of persons with disabilities are in need of assistance and if you have this pot of gold somewhere around that you are distributing, then please, in your donations, please include persons with disabilities,” she said.