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FLASH BACK: Bunji Garlin and wife Fay-Ann Lyons perform with the Asylum Band during the Eye Slam Concert Series.

BOBIE-LEE DIXON

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T&T soca artists will come together on Friday to host a telethon to assist in relief efforts for St Vincent and the Grenadines, (SVG) as the island continues to battle challenges caused by the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano.

Spearheading the initiative are Bunji Garlin (Ian Alvarez) and his wife Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez. In a telephone interview, Lyons-Alvarez told Guardian Media St Vincent and the Grenadines had given much to the local soca fraternity. She said while they could not be there to physically support the people of that country, the fraternity understood it could use the talents and fan base of its members to mobilise as much support as it could to send relief to SVG.

Lyons-Alvarez said artists were all rearing and ready to go for Friday with several already signing on to the initiative.

“We spoke to Machel . . . Machel is on board. We spoke to Voice . . . Voice on board. Patrice, Drue, Swappi. Everybody. I mean the artists understand and everybody’s been waiting for something that will bring us all together that we can show solidarity for St Vincent,” Lyons-Alvarez said.

She said helping St Vincent was like helping family.

“We do have a love for St Vincent and Skinny Fabulous, Problem Child and all of them, they have been writing music and performing and doing collaborations with some of our artists here. So the relationship is there. I mean we know Luta and Fireman Hooper and all these different artists we have been working with over the years, so it’s not like we do not personally know a lot of these artists. We have a connection with them…we talk to them when we go to St Vincent. We visit them, we have lunch..dinner…we lime we hang out. So it’s almost like you’re seeing part of your extended family in peril.”

The telethon is being hosted in collaboration with the local NGO Is There Not A Cause (ITNAC), which is headed by Avonelle Hector-Joseph.

Lyons-Alvarez appealed to social media users to stop criticising those who are donating in whatever capacity they can. She said in such a time of crisis, every bit of support helps, even if that came in the form of a single bottle of water. She said it was unfortunate to see negative comments on social media being made of relief rendered by members of the public and that was very discouraging.

While the telethon will be hosted on Friday, Lyons-Alvarez said the venue is not yet finalised but the public will be updated as the week progresses.