The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

STAR Re­porter

Lu­cian-born and in­ter­na­tional record­ing and reg­gae per­former Taj Weekes over the Christ­mas hol­i­days con­tin­ued his phi­lan­thropy work here through his “They Of­ten Cry Out” (TOCO) foun­da­tion. On Satur­day De­cem­ber 20th Weekes and a team of vol­un­teers in­clud­ing Dr. Stephen King and Dr. Bird of RISE Saint Lu­cia Inc., teamed up with the Boka group for the an­nual Christ­mas party. This time around Taj and his team brought the good cheer to chil­dren on the West coast namely Ca­naries, Anse la Raye and Belvedere. “This is some­thing we do ev­ery year, bring­ing some­thing joy­ful and pos­i­tive to un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren here all in the spirit of good­will,” Weekes said. “This year we en­deav­ored to not only have a party for around 320 chil­dren but to also pro­vide them with a healthy meal and try to en­gen­der in them a sense of well be­ing,” he added.

In the end over 400 chil­dren showed up in­clud­ing some par­ents and guardians and ac­cord­ing to Weekes they were all at­tended to and all of the chil­dren re­ceived gifts. “Since di­a­betes is al­ways some­thing that is at the fore­front of our minds, given the alarm­ing statis­tics here in Saint Lu­cia, we gave the chil­dren meals and treats with no ar­ti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers and colour­ing,” Weekes ex­plained. Chef Rob­bie, we were told, pre­pared the meals. “We also en­sure that the gifts are things that will keep the chil­dren ac­tive and so we brought down items such as balls, scoot­ers and bikes,” he con­tin­ued.

In attendance at the event was the MP for Anse la Raye/Ca­naries Des­mond Long and the UWP leader Allen Chas­tanet. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Boka group in­clud­ing CEO and founder John Kennedy were also present.

“Beyond the party and the gifts we just had a won­der­ful time with all of the chil­dren, play­ing games with them, singing and danc­ing and even re­ward­ing those who had done well at school,” Weekes said.

He went on to thank Jet Blue, HTS and Va­lerie Al­bert, The Boka Group, Chef Rob­bie, Bill Mort­ley, the prin­ci­pals, teach­ers and par­ents for mak­ing the event a suc­cess.

Taj Weekes and TOCO will be back in Saint Lu­cia in March to lend their support to ac­tiv­i­ties aimed at end­ing do­mes­tic abuse.

T oka group CEO John Kennedy, Taj Weekes, a par­ent and

MP De­somnd Long.

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