News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda A fundraising drive by the Bermuda Visitor Services Centres (BVSC) has helped a successful community effort to support restaurant workers.

The ‘Purchase with a Purpose’ campaign, which kicked off May 20 in the run-up to Bermuda Day and ran through June 30, invited local residents to show “Bermy” pride by buying official Bermuda merchandise from the centres, operated by the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA). Twenty-five percent of every sale in the campaign contributed $750 for ‘Serving the Servers’—a relief project set up by Thomas Olunloyo, CEO of Legal & General (L&G) Reinsurance, enabled by the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, to support restaurant workers through the pandemic.

“This project demonstrated the ability of our Visitor Services Centre team to pivot in the face of unforeseen circumstances, while extending their delivery of quality customer services in support of their industry colleagues,” said BTA Chief Operations Officer, Karla Lacey.

The BTA contribution brings to $23,500 the total amount of funds raised to date for Serving the Servers by individuals and groups throughout the Bermuda community. Some $18,200 in grocery vouchers has already been distributed.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a lasting impact on the hospitality sector, and we are grateful to the BTA and all the individuals and organisations that donated to Serving the Servers,” said Olunloyo. “We launched this campaign during a time of great need for Bermuda’s restaurant workers and our final distribution will be taking place this week. Now that Bermuda has reopened, we hope you will continue to support local restaurants.”

Top-selling BVSC products included custom Bermuda S’well bottles, Bermuda beach towels,and children’s “Ace Girl” & “Ace Boy” t-shirts. Visitor Services Centre staff organised orders for next-day kerbside pickup from the Hamilton centre’s Front Street location, and delivery for bulk orders.

“Big thanks to everyone who made a purchase towards this initiative,” said Jakai Franks, BVSC Manager of Operations. “Your generosity has allowed us to give this donation to restaurant workers in need.”

The Hamilton location re-opened when commercial flights to the island resumed July 1; its hours are currently 10 am–2 pm daily. The island’s two other Visitor Services Centres, in St George’s and Dockyard, will open only for specific events and occasions at this time.

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  • Top Feature Photo Supplied: Bermuda Visitor Services Centre Manager of Operations Jakai Franks presents a donation to Tanya Cropley-Minors, of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, to help local restaurant workers