October 13, 2016
Washington Redskins Senior Vice President of Communications Tony Wyllie, left, with Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Emergency Coordinating Committee Geneva Cooper, and Permanent Secretary Harrison Thompson.
HELP for the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Matthew is coming in from the United States, with the owner of the Washington Redskins NFL team and kind-hearted Floridians donating much needed relief supplies.
Redskins owner Dan Synder and his wife, Tanya, flew in on a private jet filled with batteries, food, blankets, candies, non-perishable foods and even children’s games to deliver personally a load of supplies on Saturday.
A team from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (BMOT), including Permanent Secretary Harrison Thompson and Co-ordinator of the BMOT Emergency Coordinating Committee Geneva Cooper, was on hand to greet the Redskins.
“We are grateful to our partners, the Washington Redskins, who wasted no time in offering assistance to the Islands of The Bahamas,” Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said. “This organisation led by example, mobilising immediately to bring relief to our people who are in need.
“We know that there are many Bahamians who will benefit from these donations. We want to thank the Redskins, especially owners Daniel and Tanya Synder who are no strangers to our beautiful country. It is our hope that other organisations will follow the example set by the Redskins. I think it is safe to say that the Redskins organisation has gained even more Bahamian fans this football season.”
Mr. Synder said that although his team would play yesterday, beating the Baltimore Ravens 16-10, his organisation knew it had to help the Bahamas.
“We are very fortunate to have resources and the means to step in and make a difference in times of peril,” he said. “Even though we are not a relief organisation, I felt it was critically important for us to use our resources to help those affected by Hurricane Matthew.”
Tony Wyllie, senior vice president of communications for the Redskins, said this was only the initial phase of the organisation’s efforts to assist the Bahamas. “Once we sit down and find out what the needs are. We’re going to come back,” Mr. Wyllie said.
The Ministry of Tourism recently signed a five-year partnership with the Redskins. As part of the partnership, the Redskins will hold an annual Washington Redskins Weekend in the Bahamas featuring Doug Williams and other legendary players for its fans, friends and families.
The Redskins will also hold a flag football game with its alumni against top Bahamian officials at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium, as well as hold a youth football and cheerleading clinic in the Bahamas.
The team will also put on a golf and fishing tournament as well as participate in other destination experiences.
Meanwhile, nine Royal Bahamas Defence Force vessels departed Key West bound for the Bahamas with relief supplies donated by Florida Keys residents and businesses for victims of Hurricane Matthew.
Pallets stacked high with supplies collected from around the Keys were loaded on Friday at the US Navy’s Truman Harbor pier in Key West, where the vessels took refuge from Matthew last week.
The supplies included 25,000 bottles of water, thousands of diapers, food and tools, all gathered within 24 hours and dropped off at local government centres in Islamorada, Marathon and Key West.
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