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(January 8, 2015) – In keeping with their ongoing support for the Sandals Foundation, travel agents committed to Sandals Resorts International recently raised more than US$36,000 for the Foundation-supported Flanker Resource Centre’s marching band.

The funds will go towards new instruments as well as training, both in theory and practical, for the band members, which the Sandals Foundation has committed to supporting for the next two years. The band is also being provided with the opportunity to work closely with Sandals Resorts’ entertainment division and display their talent at Sandals Resorts.

“Being a part of the band has had a positive impact on my life,” said Ryan Haughton, one of the band’s musicians. “It has helped to build my self-esteem and I’ve formed bonds that will last forever. Thank you to the Sandals Foundation and the agents who have made it possible for me to continue this journey and have helped to open this space for others.”

Heidi Clarke, the Sandals Foundation’s director of programmes, noted: “We are so grateful to the travel agents who are committed to not just selling Sandals, but keeping us close to their hearts and supporting our projects. Through their generous donations, we are able to continue our programmes in the Flanker community and positively impact and uplift youth. Music plays an important role in overall mental and emotional development and we are proud to be able to commit to supporting this venture.”

In 2014, more than 3,500 travel agents participated in 19 Mega Fams. They were encouraged to make donations in aid of the marching band as well as bring educational supplies for schools across the region.

Since the Sandals Foundation’s inception in 2009, travel agents have consistently supported the organisation through programmes such as Pack for A Purpose, the Buy A Brick Programme, the Reading Road Trip and the Travel Agent Giveback (TAG) Programme.