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Pledges to ‘Save NICE Radio’ reach $60,000

Pledges to ‘Save NICE Radio’ reach $60,000

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Since the launch of the Save NICE Radio appeal on Monday, pledges by individuals who have expressed an interest in lending assistance totalled approximately $60,000 up to press time on Wednesday.{{more}}

Lawyer Kay Bacchus Browne, community activist Junior Bacchus and public relations executive Jerry George on Monday night began a radiothon in an attempt to raise funds for the station.

The radiothon, which ran for two hours, saw Vincentians, both locally and in the diaspora pledging to prevent the station from going into receivership or possible closure.

Junior Bacchus, one of the two individuals responsible for initiating the appeal, told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday that he was very surprised at the response from the public.

“We’ve gotten to the point where in one night, we’ve had pledges of over $40,000 dollars. In a single night! And this never happened in whatever appeal that we have done in this country,” Bacchus said.

“Forty thousand dollars is an encouraging start to us and plans are to continue,” he added.

During the Current Affairs program aired on Tuesday, Bacchus said an estimated $20,000 was pledged.

“We are expanding now, because people are calling for a wider pool of collectors. So, I am looking at the credit unions to facilitate collection in the Grenadines and the rural communities.”

The matter has generated interest from radio stations in the Eastern Caribbean, which have also pledged to lend assistance in raising the outstanding $250,000.

Since the lawsuit won by Gonsalves in 2009, no money has been paid. As a result of the non-payment, interest of 6 per cent has accrued.

“We are actually spreading this matter throughout the Eastern Caribbean, because it is an Eastern Caribbean Court decision.

“There are other radio stations in St Lucia and Antigua that are very concerned about the precedence that is being set here, in terms of the quantum of this judgement and the interest rate and all of that…

“We are mobilizing the media community throughout the Caribbean as well”.

Another radiothon will be held on Monday, when there will be a link up with Antigua’s Observer radio.

“So this thing is going to be wider and I’m confident that we can raise the three hundred or so thousand dollars which is the $250,000, plus costs and interest,” Bacchus said.

The court awarded Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves $250,000 in damages because of comments broadcast on Nice Radio eight years ago, by host of the New Democratic Party sponsored “New Times” programme Elwardo “EG” Lynch.

Bacchus, however, said he “has no doubt” that the objective of the lawsuit was to get rid of Nice Radio for political reasons.

“I hear the prime minister in his last press conference, he made reference to two programs on Nice Radio that he believe the Receiver, if appointed, to seek funding for. Which is – he called it “Breakfast with Ralph”, which is the “Breakfast with God” and the New Times programme. He immediately drew point to those two programmes.

“It shows that he is afraid of those two programmes, because they are hurting him, because they are critical of him. And that is his real objective, because Nice Radio has done considerable amount of work for the people in the sporting sector, for carnival, for the churches, for women and youth,” Bacchus said.

Bacchus described NICE Radio as a community radio and is hoping that the community will save it.

Persons wishing to pledge can call Nice Radio’s on air number 1784-456-5967 or the office line at 1784-458-1013 or email bdsnice@gmail.com.

Contributors can also make their donations to the RBTT Bank, to the account number 15504. (AA)

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