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Aug 30, 2004

“Living with Hope” reaches target

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It took five months of planning and preparation, not to mention a generous helping of volunteer work from people all over the country. And on Saturday artists from all over took the stage to raise funds to help care for people infected and affected by AIDS. Coordinator of the “The Living with Hope” project, Dolores Balderamos Garcia, says the concert, which was staged at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts and aired live right here on Channel 5 was an unqualified success.

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Coordinador, Living with Hope

“Everybody just came out in a fantastic way. I would want to hope that this is the start of something great and perhaps an HIV/AIDS foundation. We hope to do this again next year. We have learned a little bit–how it’s done this time around and I am sure that once we do our collection we will jump the hundred thousand dollars mark.”

Patrick Jones

“You originally set your target at a hundred thousand dollars, did you reach that target?”

Dolores Balderamos Garcia

“Yes indeed, yes indeed. I think the official figure right now is around ninety-seven thousand dollars, but we have a few little pledges outstanding. My own mom said you know, I am by myself now, but I will give you a hundred dollars. And so I can collect that pledge from her. And it?s amazing, quite apart from the money which some people say is a drop in the bucket when we look at the extent of HIV/AIDS epidemic. But quite apart from that I think the level of awareness that we were able to bring to HIV/AIDS has been unprecedented.”

Patrick Jones

“What will this money that was raised over the weekend–what will it be used for?”

Dolores Balderamos Garcia

“Mainly we want to focus, strictly and exclusively for people living with HIV/AIDS. But we want to focus on the people who are least able to help themselves. That is why we have been stressing the orphans and the children who are affected and infected. I can’t tell you dollar for dollar now exactly what will happen. But we will convene a steering committee meting and we will have input from a social worker and an accountant, perhaps the AIDS committees in the various districts and San Pedro and we will look at the worthiest and the neediest cases.”

The official amount of money raised in Saturday’s telethon is ninety-seven thousand, five hundred and twenty-seven dollars. This includes twenty-five thousand in pledges and donations raised by the Town Council in San Pedro and ten thousand dollars raised by the Consortium for Belizean Development through a health fair held in Los Angeles. Balderamos Garcia says people can still contribute, either at the National AIDS Commission office in Belize City or at the Belize Bank, account number 680-500-3042.

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