By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
LADY Camille Barnett, president of the Bahamas AIDS Foundation, yesterday appealed to businesses in the country to support the foundation with sponsorships to fund its outreach programme for adolescents who are infected and affected by the disease.
She said to successfully run the foundation’s initiative for the 50 children enrolled, organisers need $100,000, or $2,000 per child.
The foundation usually holds its annual Red Ribbon Ball to fund the programme. However, Lady Barnett told The Tribune that ticket sales have been sluggish for the black tie event, which is scheduled for November 14.
“The proceeds from the ball usually go toward funding this programme as far as possible,” she explained. “It is our largest fundraiser so it is really important to have it go as successfully as possible.
“We’d like to get to $100,000. Last year we did $90,000, the year before that we did $80,000.
“(The programme) is a combination of things: it is an after school programme but it also has support services attached to it as well so the kids come to the programme every afternoon. We feed them, we help them with their homework, we have tutors who help, we have a social worker and we have a cook to prepare the meals.
“We also have a security guard and most of the jobs are on a part-time basis. What we are also finding now is many of the kids are now looking for jobs because the programme is now going on five or six years.
“So we have got someone who is doing career development with them to help them find what their skills and talents are to help them go out and find a job.
“So when you add up the cost of all that, because of the salaries at the end of the day it costs about $2,000 per child and we have about 50 kids.”
This year the ball will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort and will feature the Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band along with performers Fred Ferguson and Tingum Dem.
A special guest performer also will be revealed on the night of the event.