The person who conceptualised the Observer Goodwill Day project is pleased with the response from residents at home and the diaspora thus far and has specifically commended the local populace for being the majority contributor.
However, Former Ombudsman Dame J.M. Eusalyn Lewis — who spearheaded the fundraising project to support NEWSCO Limited, which took over OBSERVER Publications last year, — is challenging people in the diaspora to match the amount contributed by those residing in the twin island saying, “ I want to say to the people in the diaspora, those people who say that their radios are always on Observer; I am challenging them to try to match what our local persons did.”
On May 15, 2019, Dame Eusalyn and her committee launched the first ever Observer Goodwill Day which was geared towards obtaining funds with the aim of preserving independent media.
The total collected up to yesterday was $187,484 which she said was largely due to support from locals.
“I want to say that most of it has been done here locally… and I am eternally thankful for that because it really and truly has bolstered my faith in the people whom I have served all my life.”
She said that they are still receiving funds to this day and have received $17,000 between last week and yesterday.
On OBSERVER AM yesterday Dame Eusalyn quoted the exact figures compiled locally which amounted to $158,572. She that US $11,770 was gathered via the project’s Go Fund Me page.
The fundraising initiative will continue on Saturday June 1, at which time all individuals who wish to join in their support for free media will have an opportunity to do so.
In addition, the former Ombudsman mentioned some challenges that arose
to include outstanding pledges.
“Pledges in the amount of $16,976 came via telephone. In that amount we still have outstanding, waiting for people to bring in $5,525 which means that some people who made pledges have not yet brought in their pledges. We have telephone numbers for those people but I really feel that I need to give them until the end of the month to make good,” she added.
“One issue that came up was that…there were some people who contributed through post dated cheques and that means that once in got to the bank it incurred a different type of charge so I want to discourage people from doing that because at the end of the day we are going to return the cheque to you and you are going to have to pay the bank.”
On Saturday, contributions can be made at a donation station which will be set up outside the ABI Financial Centre building on Redcliffe Street.
Members of the public who wish to make monetary donations can do so through the OBSERVER Goodwill Project’s GoFundMe or Facebook pages.
Donations can also be made to NEWSCO Limited—Projects. Account #100004883 at the Antigua Commercial Bank.