Lyford Cay Millionaire Pledges to Match all Contributions to Sponsor Donations
Nygård to Match all Donations/
Eldece Clarke-Lewis, Debbie Ferguson, Peter Nygård, Chandra Sturrup and Pauline Davis-Thompson
pose together for a shot in front of the $25,000 cheque Nygård presented to the BAAA to help sponsor
the team heading to the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia in September.
Lyford Cay clothing millionaire Peter Nygård has pledged to match all financial donations to the Olympic athletics team during the month of August.
The former Olympic decathlon hopeful made the announcement during a reception for members of the Bahamas Olympic team at his Lyford Cay home Tuesday.
Nygård, a naturalised Bahamian and czar of polyester apparel for women, donated $25,000 to the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association to help sponsor the athletics team heading to Sydney, Australia in September during a press conference Tuesday.
Prior to unveiling the huge carbon copy cheque at Nygård Cay in Lyford Cay, Nygård issued a challenge to corporate Bahamas for a fundraising drive starting August 1 through the end of August.
"In this world, you really have to learn to do three things," he said. "You have to learn how to make money, you have to learn how to keep
money and you have to learn how to spend money."
"Nygård Cay is the latter. It's about spending money. This event today also has to do with spending money."
Commenting on the "Golden Girls," Nygård said the whole idea of having a house like his is to have the right people in it and he was appreciative that members of the women's 4 x 100 relay team have finally graced his home.
"This is no small event we are talking," said Nygård of the Olympics. "It is the highest level of competition in all sports."
By sponsoring the Bahamas Olympic team, Nygård said when they ascend the medal platform and they begin to cry, he will cry too because he will have played an important part in helping the athletes get to the pinnacle of sports.
And he encouraged the Bahamas government to follow suit by matching what he donated.
"I would like to see the media themselves undertake a campaign to do their own challenge and whatever is raised, I will match it," said.
Asked if there is a projected target he would like to attain, Nygård said it would be a hard call because the sky is the limit.
"That's the whole beauty of it." he said. "If we are able to raise $250,000, I will raise $250,000 and the media should be putting the pressure on the government to also raise $250,000."
A project of the magnitude, according to Nygård, would not only benefit the Olympic team, but could go into funding various activities like improving the parks and instituting programmes for young people to get involved.
"Let's try to raise a million dollars." he said.
Nygård reflected on his back ground as a young decathlon champion in Finland -- where he survived under adverse living conditions -- but failed to fulfill his dreams of being an Olympian.
Now, through his generosity, he said he too can feel like an Olympian. He was even presented with a Bahamas track uniform by veteran sprinter Pauline Davis-Thompson to confirm that he is.
BAAA president Desmond Bannister said it's the contributions by people like Nygård that will make the difference in the team's success down under.
Bannister said that it was obvious from the two-day National Championships over the weekend at the Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium, that the athletes turned in some fantastic performances.
He also thanked the Bahamian public for then out-pouring of fan support at nationals, a crowd of thousands which was not been seen in more that 10 years, and the contribution of major sponsors Texaco Bahamas Limited and Orbitex.
However, out of respect of the Bahamas Olympic Association, Bannister said the BAAA will decline from naming the athletes they have selected.
Rather, he said it would be best for the BOA to make that decision once they have ratified the team.
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