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Featured / News / Virgin Islands / September 30, 2019

Christin Bakey, a St. Croix resident with no ties to The Bahamas, was distraught at the devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian on the Abaco Islands and The Grand Bahama. Unlike most of us, however, Ms. Bakey, who has no connections to the Bahamian islands and is not part of a local nonprofit, decided to take action by hosting two relief drives on St. Croix that morphed into a territory-wide effort. The result: In the next week or so, a 40-foot container full of nonperishable goods, clothing and hygiene supplies will be shipped to The Bahamas.

The event culminated with a relief drive at the Blue Bamboo (formerly New Drive Inn) on Sunday, supported by some of St. Croix’s top artists and band — Pumpa, Adam O and Big Band. Kruziano, the young artist whose music has exploded on the local scene, was also present. Deejays Trinity Krew, Supa Trackz Int’l and Big Kyat Sounds kept the atmosphere vibrant throughout the event, which started at 1:00 p.m. and continued into the night. The aforementioned groups donated their time, energy and equipment free of charge.

There were also bouncies, face painting and other activities for the children.

“Basically I was watching one of the videos that was out there and decided I wanted to help them,” said Ms. Bakey, who enlisted her friend Shavon Fontenelle, the owner the Aqua Lounge who has connections with local entertainers. “I shoot the idea to my friend and basically it’s me and him that made it all happen and then we just got a lot of people on board,” Ms. Bakey said. Virgin Islanders on St. Thomas joined in and were set to ship items to St. Croix this week. “It’s actually going to be from the VI as one,” she said.

The activity was a display of selflessness by all involved. While it may appear simple, such efforts take a lot of energy and coordination — from collecting relief supplies territory-wide, to finding the 40-foot container, packing the items and coordinating with The Bahamas to ascertain the supplies arrive safely and are distributed to those in need. Ms. Bakey also shopped for goods with funds from supporters who brought money instead of items.

Artists Adam O, Pumpa and Kruziano performed as if the crowd included thousands. Big Band members played their instruments as if they were on a festival stage; the deejays did not hold back either.

“We reached out to everyone — deejays, entertainers and companies to sponsor, and everybody decided they’re willing to donate their time, and that’s what we have here,” Ms. Bakey said.

Initially, the relief drive was supposed to result in a 20-foot container being shipped to The Bahamas, but the support has been so positive that a 40-foot will be sent instead.

A number of local businesses and groups sponsored the drive. They include: Angry Nate’s, Karibbean Kutz, Neighborhood Pharmacy, SD&C, Plaza Extra (East and West) Ferrol’s Trucking, Armstrong Ice Cream, the Blue Bamboo, Optimal Printing, Jolly Rodger, The Fred, Felix Bouncers, Coral Sea Restaurant, St. Lucia Auction Circle, St. Lucia Creole Dancers of St. Croix, Paradise Covenant Ministry, Isle 95, 23rd WMD, JJ the Clown, Marco St. Croix and KSS.

Christine Bakey, left, is joined by relief drive team members. (Ernice Gilbert, VIC)

Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

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