Several key personalities associated with NEWSCO – the business entity which now owns OBSERVER Media – have expressed profuse gratitude to residents of Barbuda who demonstrated their appreciation and support for the new media entity by hosting a fundraiser for its benefit on Saturday 27 April 2019.
NEWSCO is the parent company for OBSERVER Radio, Hitz FM and The Daily OBSERVER newspaper, with its offices on the top floor of the ABI Building on #156 Redcliffe Street in St. John’s.
The good-willed and well-wishing Barbudans consider NEWSCO to be the prime example of Independent and Community-oriented radio in the twin-island state. Hundreds turned out to lend their support in tangible ways by purchasing food provided and prepared by the Barbudans and for which sister isle has gained much exotic renown over the years – especially at the national food fair held annually in observance of the country’s Independence.
The event was hosted on the section of Redcliffe Street right in front of the ABI Building, the area cordoned off to vehicular traffic for the day, the food and drinks served under tents erected specifically for that purpose.
Producer and host of Voice of the People, Paul Quinn said, “On behalf of OBSERVER and NEWSCO I want to thank the Barbudans tremendously for standing up for us. When they needed us, we were there for them, and they are now standing up for us.
He explained that without OBSERVER the Barbuda story would not have been told. “So much would have been swept under the carpet without NEWSCO and the Barbudans showed their appreciation in a very real way.”
Cleon Athill, who is a member of the OBSERVER-NEWSCO family and Stacy Samuel, the Commercial Manager at NEWSCO both echoed Quinn’s sentiment, stating that Barbudans appreciate the work and contribution of the popular community broadcasting and publishing independent medium.
“I think that the Barbudans felt that OBSERVER is free media, it’s a voice that they know they have,” Samuel said, adding, “We are always willing to accommodate them.”
Samuel worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the organization and execution of the event came off flawlessly. So successful at that was she and other members of the team, that by 3pm every single morsel of food had sold out – with patrons hankering and clamoring for more.
According to Athill, the fundraiser exceeded expectations and the crowd was wonderful. She was among those in one of the best positions to know firsthand, being in the thick of it, serving food and drinks to the throngs who turned out – many making direct monetary donations either separately or refusing to accept change when the money they presented exceeded the selling price.
The occasion turned into a spontaneous Open Day for the studios and offices of OBSERVER on the ABI Building 4th Floor, with many who came out to support profiting the occasion as an opportunity to visit and meet members of staff – several of whom they were only acquainted with via their voices on the radio or their bylines in The Daily OBSERVER.
One such inundated personality was, of course, Paul Quinn: “People of Antigua and Barbuda love OBSERVER; they know what OBSERVER represents so they came out to support,” he said with discernible delight.
The Barbudans who came over in droves via Ferry, included prominent figures such as former Senator McKenzie Frank and the man whose brainchild the fundraiser for OBSERVER was, Devon Warner.
The momentum of support continues when OBSERVER Goodwill Day is held on May 15.