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Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Fundraiser Brings in Cash for Haiti

Ashley McKinnon, left, and Susan Ellis talk with Mathilde Wilson.Bruce and Mathilde Wilson passed the halfway mark to their fundraising goal for Haiti Community Support with an event Sunday at Mt. Victory Camp.

Bruce Wilson announced early in the afternoon that the group spearheaded by his wife had raised the first $40,000 of the “Eighty for Haiti” they’re aiming at and the event, scheduled to last to midnight, appeared set to raise a lot more cash before the night was over.

At 5 p.m. volunteers at the gate said that $4,000 had been taken in admissions. And at that time people were still parking along the Rain Forest roads and heading toward the gate to buy tickets.

Admission was just part of the fundraising effort. Tickets for meals were also being sold as well as raffle tickets and drink tickets. The profits were sure to be large as Mathilde Wilson pointed out that everything – food, beer and musical entertainment had been donated.

The musicians included Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights, Jamsie, Doc Petersen, Bully and the Kafooners, Llewellyn, Siete Son, and VI Rhythm Section with special guest Hans Leonardo Pedersen. At sunset Kurt Schindler was scheduled to play.

The musicians gave a festive atmosphere and got people dancing on the hillside and under a large mango tree. But sometimes the event took a somber note, as when Mathilde took the microphone and explained what she found in her native country two days after the earthquake and what the situation was as of Saturday when she returned to St. Croix.

“A lot of people are still living in horrible conditions,” Mathilde Wilson said. “They are leaving Port-au-Prince with unhealthy living situations and returning to their villages that they left for a better life. Those children need places to go to school so the money raised will be used for education along with food , medical supplies and water.”

Haiti Community Support has been helping Haiti for seven years. With contributions from Virgin Islanders, it has built a school and developed a hot lunch program for 200 kids. It also supports a medical clinic and water projects. In the trip Mathilde just returned from, the emphasis was on emergency medical care.

Mathilde Wilson said the HCS medical clinic has been treating 200 quake victims a day since the third day after the quake. HCS member Peter Dybing reported that as little as $4 could save a life.

Bruce Wilson pointed out that the HCS has no paid staff and all its work is done by volunteers. He said that all funds donated get to the people who need it.

This year’s event was Haiti Community Support seventh annual Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Nights with Dr. Olaf Hendricks perform at the Haiti Community Support fundraiser.fundraiser held at Mt. Victory Camp. Organizers said in a Facebook invitation that this year was especially important because so many lives are in the balance and they would try to have their biggest-ever event. They called it a Party with a Purpose.

“I can’t do this myself,” Mathilde Wilson said. “Now we can help thousands with the help from people of St. Croix.”

The food included lamb, pork and beef, fire-grilled with a variety of sides and desserts.

“Bruce and Mathilde are the luminaries behind this,” Roy Lawaetz said. “They set the course for this whole thing that is unusual in may ways, starting with the earthquake and ending up here with togetherness and giving.”

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