Within days of IRMA unleashing her anger across St Barts on September 5, 2017, Gustavia Yacht Club stepped up to provide much needed financial help to those who had been hardest hit by the Category 5 hurricane.
The Club’s Commodore, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, had asked the Club’s bankers in Monaco (CFM Indosuez) to set up a special ring-fenced sub-account in the name of the Club with the designation “St Barts – Hurricane IRMA disaster relief fund”.
The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation was the first one to donate, a generous €100,000, to the disaster relief fund and 45 Club members and friends of the island soon after contributed to the cause.
In total, €189,718 was raised during the IRMA appeal, with €190,485 being dispersed to fund 18 “worthy causes” by decision of the Executive Committee of the Club (Sir Stelios with Ken Griggs and Gustavo Riccobon) and under the watchful eye of the full Board of Directors.
Donations raised helped to fund a new fire truck for the Association Amicale des Sapeurs Pompiers, helped to help rebuild the Ecole Ste Marie and College St Barthelemy, paid for emergency equipment and materials distributed to population, to support the horses on the island via the association Galop des Iles, paid for Rehabilitation of Public gardens by the Rotary Club, bought musical instruments for Saint Barthelemy Harmony, assisted various associations and clubs (Association des Jeunes-Surf Club, St Barth Handicap Association, Athleticism Association and Saint Barth Tennis Club), made a donation the Saint Marteens Yacht Club and various owners whose homes were destroyed or damaged, and, paid for Christmas parties for children and families.
“We are delighted to report that the island is well underway towards making a full recovery from IRMA and we would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2018!” the Club’s Commodore wrote to Gustavia Yacht Club members.