14 Sep 2009

Families of Tongan ferry disaster victims given more than 160 US dollars each

1:39 pm on 14 September 2009

Families of the victims of the Tongan ferry disaster have been given more than 160 US dollars each, following a telethon fundraiser run by Pasifika Broadcasting in New Zealand.

Pasifika Broadcasting and a collaborative group from the Tongan community in New Zealand and abroad ran the two-hour telethon on Triangle TV and Stratos channels at the end of last month, raising almost 11 thousand US dollars.

A spokeswoman on the fundraising committee, Setita Millar, from Pasifika Broadcasting says she and a film crew travelled to Tonga to personally deliver the money to 66 families who lost loved ones in the Princess Ashika tragedy.

"I couldn't hold back my tears when we distributed the funds. It was a very emotional occasion. Very appreciative, and each one of them sends their love back to the Tongan community and also the New Zealand community for their gift."

Setita Millar says 100 percent of the proceeds was donated to the victims' families and the relief fund will continue to collect money for them.