p>PHILIPSBURG:— Members of the Bervoets Family, both living in Sint Maarten and in Belgium, organized a Hurricane Irma Relief Supply Drive for the Charlotte Brookson Academy of the Performing Arts. Renown Belgian actor, Gene Bervoets, who used to reside on the island some years ago as a drama teacher, director of the Cultural Center and Director of the Council on the Arts; and his children Tadzio Bervoets, Manager of the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation and Ayumi Bervoets, Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Justice; on Friday presented the Charlotte Brookson Academy with much-needed Hurricane relief funds: “Sint Maarten is very close to my heart, not only because of the fact that I lived here but also because my kids work and live here. That is why I was so deeply affected by the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on what I consider my home island. When I was following the aftermath of the hurricane from in Belgium I realized that the island, especially schools, will need all the help we could provide so with Tadzio and Ayumi we decided to assist the Charlotte Brookson Academy with their rebuilding after the hurricane. I used to teach performing arts when I used to live here and I think after a traumatic experience such as a hurricane it is important to provide especially young people with a way to express themselves through art. That is why we thought it so important to support the Charlotte Brookson Academy,” commented Bervoets.
The Performance Arts School, which used to be housed in the former Government Building, suffered extensive damage during both hurricanes, forcing pupils to relocate to tents and in different buildings in order to continue to receive lessons. The school also lost significant school supplies during the Hurricanes; “with his financial assistance gathered by the community in Belgium mostly organized by my daughter Ayumi and from various people and organizations including from the H. Pius X institute Secondary School where my son Tadzio attended after Hurricane Luis, Het Geluidshuis, Kadonation and Tablefever, we hope that the Academy can get a push in normalizing the situation for their students,” concluded Bervoets.