* Photo by Kageaki Smith. Premier Ewart Brown announces the launch of the Haiti telethon on March 8 on VSB and Channel 2.
* Photo by Kageaki Smith. Premier Ewart Brown announces the launch of the Haiti telethon on March 8 on VSB and Channel 2.
Bermuda will be hosting a telethon to raise money for Haiti, Premier Ewart Brown announced yesterday.

The telethon is called To Haiti With Love and will feature several local reggae performers and personalities including Ras Mykal and Bobby Washington.

The financial goal of the telethon is $100,000.

"I am asking you to please dig deep in your pockets and pledge generously on the night of the telethon," the Premier said. "Bermuda has already made contributions to Haiti out of proportion to our size."

It was through the collaboration of the Caribbean Associations on the island, including the West Indian Association, the Jamaica Association, and the Barbadian Association along with some of the Haitians living in Bermuda, that the idea for the telethon was born.

The Premier added that the money that is raised will be channelled appropriately to exactly where it is needed the most.

"I have said that it is a natural human need to want to rush in to help immediately in these types of disasters," the Premier said. "As a government, we have made a decision to rely on an assessment by CARICOM of Haiti's long- and short-term needs and then respond in a way that is appropriate.

"CARICOM has already decided that the region's focus will be on medical support to our sister country."

All donations will be channelled through CARICOM's Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Salvation Army and Philip Rego's Feed My Lambs.

Total success

The coordinator of the event, Susan Moore-Williams, said she knows the event will be a "total success".

"The West Indian Association had done a telethon in 2004 after the hurricanes that swept the Caribbean region," Ms Moore-Williams explained.

"It was widely successful and we raised $160,000 which went towards Jamaica, Haiti, the Cayman Islands and other places in the Caribbean struck by hurricanes.

"Because we had done it before we were quite happy to do it again!

"It's a very friendly medium and it provides a means of entertainment and emphasises local talent.

"The telethon is a fun event and it encourages people to call in, have their name read out on TV and watch the tally increase immediately on the screen."

The phone number for the telethon is yet to be announced.

The initiative is sponsored by KeyTech.

To Haiti With Love will be held on Monday, March 8, on VSB channel 11 from 7:30pm until 10:30pm.

CITV will also broadcast at the same time on Channel 2.