Gladhander-In-Chief Mapp Thanks Stephenson Family For $5 Million Donation From ICMC For Hurricane Relief Efforts
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — To assist with hurricane recovery efforts in the territory, the Stephenson Family Foundation – led by Cancer Treatment Centers of America founder Richard J. Stephenson – is pledging $5 million in relief funds.
Stephenson is chairman of the Florida-based health care company as well as International Capital & Management Company (ICMC), a financial institution headquartered in St. Thomas. He owns a home in the islands.
The announcement was made this week at a press conference with Gov. Kenneth Mapp.
The foundation is partnering with the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) to launch HelpUSVINow!
Last month, the islands suffered destruction on an unprecedented scale when Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, two Category 5 storms, struck within 13 days of each other.
The $5 million pledge will consist of a $2 million donation, that was made immediately available for relief efforts, and an additional $3 million that will come from a fund that will match other donors’ gifts dollar for dollar – opening the door to a possible contribution of $8 million.
The matching fund was created to encourage donations to the CFVI, a philanthropic organization that manages a permanent collection of funds as well as essential programs and services to benefit the citizens of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“I was both shocked and dismayed by the immense suffering and damage that has occurred,” said Stephenson during the press conference. “I immediately sought out the people and organizations with the potential to make the most direct impact on the ground without delay and am eager to contribute my family’s resources to the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands to support this effort.”
Baecher-Brown said the donations will help people recover and rebuild, providing for both immediate and long-term needs.
“With their donation and match donation, the Stephenson family actively said ‘we are an [Economic Development Corporation] in the Virgin Islands and we really care about this community and we really want to see it come back bigger and stronger’,” said Baecher-Brown. “They’re trying to spark their colleagues in the business community so that they realize that they can make a difference as well.”
Tax-deductible donations can be made at EDCReliefandRecovery.org
Mapp thanked the family on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands and said their incredible generosity demonstrates a deep commitment to the territory.
Mapp said the Stephenson family was not only to be commended for the significant donation to hurricane recovery efforts, but also for their ongoing endeavors to train and employ their fellow residents.
“You are fully a part of the Virgin Islands,” the governor said. “I thank you, I commend you, I appreciate you.”
Stephenson, ICMC Founder and Chairman, and his daughter Annie Stephenson Hostetler, announced the donation at a Tuesday morning news conference held at the West Indian Company Limited (WICO) conference room on St. Thomas.
“When we saw the islands it was a real heartbreaker for us,” Stephenson said.
The Stephensons thanked Mapp for his “visionary leadership” during this time of crisis.
“Although you didn’t sign on for this task, it is a task that is uniquely yours,” Stephenson said.
The Stephenson family chose to make the news of their donation public in order to encourage others to contribute. They are partnering with the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands in launching HelpUSVINow! Tax deductible donations can be made at www.EDCReliefandRecovery.org
In addition to pledging $5 million to the recovery effort, the Stephensons have helped evacuate residents and have brought in much needed supplies.
Annie Stephenson Hostetler said the entire family was honored to be part of rebuilding the Virgin Islands.
“I feel so incredibly blessed to be here, to share in this journey with you,” she said. “I wish there was more I could physically do.”
Mapp said that recovery remained a day-by-day process and that many people in the territory were still suffering.
“We must continue to look at the silver lining,” he said. “These donations will help us to rebuild a better, stronger and more resilient Virgin Islands.”