$55M for hospital – not too shabby, Shaggy!

  1. ANDREW, Jamaica – This week, the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation handed over a cheque valued at $55 million to the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew.
  2. Shaggy, fourth from left, with the cheque for Bustamante Hospital for Children.
    Shaggy, fourth from left, with the cheque for Bustamante Hospital for Children.

The money represents proceeds from the Shaggy and Friends Concert held on the lawns of Kings House in January.

Businessman Kenneth Benjamin, chairman of the hospital, said so far, more than 450 pieces of medical equipment have been purchased with proceeds from biennial concerts.

“Over 77,000 children are treated at this hospital yearly. This is the only children’s hospital in the the Caribbean, so we attend to children from the region also.

“Shaggy and his team has proven that they are all about making a change and not just another avenue for talk,” said Benjamin at the handing-over ceremony.

This year’s proceeds will go towards several different ventures in the hospital, including the Intensive Care Unit which currently has a total of five beds – far fewer than the required amount.

Before handing over the cheque, director of the Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation, Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell thanked the Jamaican acts and sponsors who took the time to lend their support.

“The figure that we make is nothing compared to what we spend. What we make is a drop in the bucket from what we really need; however, we are grateful for all the support,” he said.

This year Shaggy and Friends partnered with iHeartRadio, which broadcasted the concert on over 18 stations in the U.S. However, Shaggy said while the radio station did their part, the Jamaicans living overseas were not that supportive.

“There are over four million Jamaicans living in the United States, more than who live in Jamaica. But the Jamaicans didn’t step up to do their part. We raised way less than we expected from them,” he said.

Managing director of the Wisynco Group William Mahfood presented a cheque valued just over $8 million to the foundation. During January, three dollars was donated to the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation and the Bustamante Hospital for Children from every specially marked bottle of WATA sold.

WATA released two million of the bottles on Dec. 22.

New-car dealership Stewart’s Auto also contributed $1.5 million to the foundation.

Since its inception in 2009, the concert has raised more than $255 million for Bustamante Hospital for Children.