On Monday, October 3, Marianna Vierra, Manager of Blue Point, presented Imbali Founder and Director Clara Reyes with a donation of a flat screen TV.
The TV was a replacement for the one stolen during recent robberies at Imbali spaces in the John Larmonie Center in Philipsburg.
"We, at Imbali are extremely humbled and grateful for the response from the community in helping us replace our stolen equipment. We still have hope that members of the community will come forward and help us find the items stolen in the robberies, but in the mean time several businesses, including Blue Point and Bergees Sound & Vision, have come to our aid and we appreciate this," Reyes said.
Vierra said that Blue Point had decided to donate to Imbali after hearing about the break-ins and reviewing Imbali’s many contributions to the community.
"We really applaud the efforts that Clara puts into our community. When we look at the efforts of Imbali Center for Creative Movement we see that it really works towards community integration. There is not a segregation of groups, Imbali trains everyone, from Bollywood to hip-hop etc and it takes time and energy to do that. So her efforts are commendable and we want to do what we can to keep her and Imbali going," Vierra said.
Reyes said that every effort is being made to secure the center so that in the future such robberies will not occur, but also called for the community to step up to safeguard the assets of its most vulnerable groups; namely children and senior citizens.
"I cannot say enough how shocked I was that people chose to rob the John Larmonie Center of all places. To me, that is like when I read about robberies at schools and other community centers. These places are used mostly by organizations assisting with youth and senior citizen projects and need all the help they can get, who would then decide to steal from just these organizations. I was truly very disappointed and disillusioned," Reyes said.
She called for more community efforts in protecting these groups and the organizations that help to develop and support them.
Reyes said that she wanted to also take the opportunity to thank those who had turned out to support the production "St. Martin for thee I cry….", which was held at teh Belair Community Center on Saturday, September 17.
"The large audience was indicative of a strong support of the arts on St. Maarten/St. Martin and we are grateful for this. When robberies like this happen on our island, whether they affect individuals, businesses, foundations, locals or tourists, it illustrates a breakdown of community on our island, this is very sad, but together we can turn this around. It is, however, up to us," Reyes said.