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Governor authorises hostage taking — all in a good cause

Governor George Fergusson will this weekend authorise pirates to kidnap several members of the public — to raise funds for the Bermuda Sloop Foundation.

The second annual Pirates of Bermuda fundraiser is set to come to a head on Saturday, with 32 “hostages” at risk of walking the plank if they are unable to raise enough in donations to pay their ransom.

Denise Riviere, CEO of the Bermuda Sloop Foundation and one of the future hostages, said members of the public can also donate money to make sure the hostages find themselves in Hamilton Harbour.

“For the past month, they have been raising funds with the goal of staying dry, but people can also pay to make sure someone walks the plank,” Ms Riviere said. “People campaign to stay dry, but they never know what people are donating towards.

“Last year I ended up walking the plank. At the rate I’m going now, I will be taking the plunge again.”

She said the fundraiser is already three-quarters of the way to its $100,000 goal, but if last year was any indication donations will still be coming in at the last moment.

“People can try to find someone to phone to make a commitment to donate to keep them off the plank, but that doesn’t always work” she said.

“We had one last year whose mother called in to make sure of him walking the plank. You can never tell.”

The event will begin Saturday at noon at Albouy’s Point with the Governor reading a letter of marque, as done in the 17th and 18th century to allow pirates to abduct community members for their wealth.

Joining Ms Riviere as hostages will be a raft of Bermuda Sloop Foundation directors, Shadow Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert, PLP Senators Renee Ming and Diallo Rabain and Colin Thompson, sports reporter for

The Royal Gazette.

Ms Riviere described the event as an entertaining way to raise needed funds for the Foundation, which at the moment is working hard to keep its experiential youth programmes up and running after seeing a drop in donations.

The Foundation launched its Save the Spirit campaign last month in an effort to raise $3 million to protect the future of the programmes, which have provided learning opportunities for more than 3,500 students.

Ms Riviere said that since launching the campaign, the Foundation has seen a great response from the public, along with members of the private sector.

“The campaign is really taking off and a lot of people are contacting us and asking what they can do because they don’t want to lose this programme,” she said. “We have got to pull together to save this programme.”

Useful website: www.piratesofbermuda.com

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Published April 05, 2013 at 9:17 am (Updated April 05, 2013 at 9:17 am)

Governor authorises hostage taking — all in a good cause

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