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JAMPACT Hurricane Relief Effort Targets Education

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Media Contact: Raine Martin, Membership Chair, 646-269-4028


September 29, 2004 (New York, NY)—Jamaica Impact, Inc. (JAMPACT) will host a fundraiser for the JAMPACT Hurricane Ivan Relief Fund featuring the popular New Kingston Band on Friday, October 15th at CODA, 34 East 34th Street in New York City, from 6 to 11 pm. The focus of the event is to raise funds to support educational facilities that were severely damaged by the passage of Hurricane Ivan through the island.

JAMPACT, a champion for basic education projects in Jamaica, has been closely monitoring the devastation wreaked on educational facilities in the aftermath of the hurricane, particularly in rural areas. Sources in Jamaica have reported that in addition to damage from winds and heavy rains; many rural schools have also sustained considerable damage as a result of desperate measures taken by volumes of individuals and families seeking refuge from the storm. Reports indicate that desks and books were burned to provide a source of fuel for cooking, and hallways and closets were used to compensate for inefficient bathroom facilities. In addition, many schools that were fortunately spared from “Ivan the terrible,” as the storm has been popularly dubbed, have now had to absorb students from neighboring districts where schools were more severely damaged. This has resulted in overcrowded classrooms and a dire shortage of essential school supplies.

“We have members on the ground in Jamaica, assessing the damage to schools which we have relationships with, in addition to monitoring news and governmental reports of educational facilities in need,” JAMPACT President Camille T. Barrett states. “After proper assessment, we will then allocate funds to schools most in need, helping to restore them back to facilities conducive to learning.”


JAMPACT a leading non-profit organization supporting educational efforts in Jamaica, has contributed over $40,000 in scholarships and has provided countless services including book drives, health fairs, and an annual “Christmas Treat” to aid disadvantaged students. The organization has adopted five basic schools in Jamaica; Mount Olive, Crescent Road, St. Stephen’s, Maxfield Park, and Cole’s Basic Schools in Kingston.

“In keeping with our core mission, it is obvious that JAMPACT direct its efforts toward education,” offers Barrett. “We need to ensure that our schools are restored to continue educating Jamaica’s brightest future—our children.”

The upcoming event features the ever-popular reggae group New Kingston Band, managed by famed Jamaican musician Courtney Panton. The young band, comprised of Panton’s three sons and a life long friend ranging in age from 15-21, have been touring the tri-state area, recently performing at VP Records 25th Anniversary after-party hosted by reputed Dancehall king Beenie Man and the Shocking Vibes Crew.

“Two of our members are in school, so education is very important to us,” notes New Kingston Band’s lead singer Stephen Suckarie. “Jamaica is a must; Education is a must—and that’s what we’re all about.”

Also featured at the JAMPACT Hurricane Ivan Relief Fundraiser will be popular reggae disc jockey, Dwayne Jones aka DJ Bandit. JAMPACT is accepting donations starting at $20 per person for the event. Groups of 5 or more people will be admitted starting at $15 per person. To make pledges or for more information please contact Raine Martin, Membership Chair at 646-269-4028 or [email protected]. For individuals unable to attend, but willing to contribute to the JAMPACT Hurricane Relief Fund, visit the JAMPACT website at www.jampact.org. All donations are tax deductible.

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