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Memorial raffle for teen killed on roads raises more than $3,200 for bursary

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Antoinette Burgess (front) the organiser of the Kijani Burgess Dream Award, with daughter Khaeljah Burgess (centre) and Yulanda Francis (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A fundraiser started in memory of a teenage boy who died in a road accident has raised three quarters of its $10,000 goal.

Antoinette Burgess, who started the Kijani Burgess Dream Award in honour of her late son, said that about $3,235 of the cash was raised from the charity’s first fundraising event, a raffle drawn on Mothers’ Day.

She said: “The outpouring of support blew our minds – we only started giving away raffle tickets on Tuesday but the response was tremendous.

“Even on Sunday, during Mothers’ Day people were calling and asking ’are there any more tickets? I want to buy some more tickets’.”

Cash was earlier raised from a GoFundMe account and through a special bank account opened for donations.

The lucky winner of the raffle, announced on a livestream on social media sites Instagram and Facebook, picked up a variety of Mothers’ Day-themed gift baskets.

The baskets included baked goods, vouchers for clothing stores, beauty salons and a private workout with a personal trainer – all supplied by Bermudian businesses.

The array of gifts given sway during the Kijani Burgess Mothers’ Day Dream Raffle (Photograph supplied)

Ms Burgess said that the Dream Award sold about 647 $5 tickets when they went on sale last Tuesday, with about 30 sold in the first minute.

She added that small businesses donated goods for the gift baskets and anonymous donors gave a total of $220 in cash donations.

Ms Burgess said: “What I found amazing was that people didn’t say ’no’ – when we asked around they all said ’okay, what do you need?’

“I’m for ever grateful for everybody who assisted and everyone who donated prizes.”

Kijani died on January 13 last year, aged 16, in a motorbike accident near Scaur Hill in Sandys.

Teachers and pupils at Southampton’s Bermuda Institute, where Kijani was a pupil, later wore blue for a day to pay tribute to the youngster and others who lost their lives on the roads.

Ms Burgess started the Kijani Burgess Dream Award in March to give a $2,500 bursary to a Bermuda Institute pupil who graduated high school despite learning difficulties.

It is hoped to raise cash to fund the bursary for a further three years and any money left over would cover fundraising costs.

Ms Burgess said that she was unsure of what the next fundraiser would be and that the charity would have to stick to Covid-19 regulations.

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Published May 13, 2021 at 8:10 am (Updated May 13, 2021 at 8:10 am)

Memorial raffle for teen killed on roads raises more than $3,200 for bursary

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