12.21.2015 The Nassau Guardian Louis Bacon’s Moore Bahamas Foundation has announced that the Bahamas Hurricane Restoration Fund is the third and final recipient of an overall $250,000 commitment to help the remote southern islands of The Bahamas recover from the devastation of Hurricane Joaquin. The final grant will go toward supporting the Bahamas Hurricane Restoration Fund’s efforts to rebuild ACL Hall on Crooked Island.

Immediately following the storm that hovered for more than 48 hours over the islands starting September 30, Bacon pledged $250,000 to help restore homes, lives and local businesses. Applications for funds poured in, and the Moore Bahamas Foundation reviewed proposals, needs assessments and project plans. Two weeks ago, the foundation announced it would award the largest grant of $120,000 to Rotary and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce for the joint long-term rebuilding project, Rebuild Bahamas. A second donation of $50,000 to Comments the Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation (BREEF) was announced last week. Those funds will be used to provide students with supplies and to restock schools with materials including books, videos, posters and educational materials related to reefs and species in islands where the marine environment lies at the core of the culture.

“My family and I were moved by the appeal and impressed by the solution,” said Bacon. “The badly damaged ACL Hall plays an essential role in the communities of Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay. It provides a space for people to gather in times of sorrow and joy, a place to host weddings, events, ceremonies and celebrations. The necessity of restoring this special place was obvious, but what makes the project even more appealing is the plan to incorporate environmentally sound practices.”

According to Bahamas Hurricane Restoration Fund founder Betsy Dingman, the grant will help the fund add solar power generation to the building, thereby providing for reverse osmosis for clean drinking water.

“ACL Hall is the lifeblood of these communities and the people whose lives have been ripped apart by the storm,” said Dingman, who has made several trips delivering supplies and assessing needs. “The grant from Mr. Bacon along with the gifts of material from China Construction will allow us to restore the building in a far better condition than before and get that community lifeblood flowing again. It will also provide housing for construction workers while they are rebuilding the islands, helping to solve the lack of housing which has hampered rebuilding efforts. We are extremely grateful to Mr. Bacon and the Moore Bahamas Foundation.”

Construction materials are already on the job site and the team expects to complete the project in less than three months. Bacon’s $50,000 grant brings the total of funds donated to $220,000. The Moore Bahamas Foundation, the Bahamas affiliate of the Moore Charitable Foundation, founded by Louis Bacon in 1992, seeks to promote environmental education in the diverse ecosystems of The Bahamas.

The Moore Bahamas Foundation (MBF) supports environmental education to encourage protection of the fragile marine environment that constitutes 90 percent of the island nation. MBF supports marine education programs that prove successful in building awareness, particularly among students, about the importance of preserving precious marine and land resources. MBF also supports health, conservation and marine research efforts.