Friends of the Bustamante Hospital for Children, in Kingston, have initiated a project to improve amenities for parents and guardians who have to take children to the institution.
The group, along with their partners, are seeking to raise $8 million to construct a restroom and other facilities at the hospital.
Their major fund-raiser will be held at King’s House on February 28, featuring several of Jamaica’s most prominent chefs and food emporiums, as well as a silent auction of art and other collectables.
Dubbed, ‘Adventures in Wonderland’, the event will be staged from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on the Banyan Lawn.
Chairman of the Friends of the hospital, Dr. Karla Hylton, told JIS News that the event “will be an evening of adult fun.”
At a function to launch the fund-raiser recently, Dr. Hylton said there will also be a display of “fine automobiles, under the theme ‘Then and Now’, where classic motor vehicles and their spanking new contemporaries will be on show.”
She noted that companies, such as ATL Automotive Group, and Stewart’s Automotive Group have confirmed their participation.
Dr. Hylton said that entertainment will be provided and there will also be fun and games segments.
In April 2018, wife of the Governor-General, Her Excellency the Most Hon. Lady Allen, was installed as Patron of the Friends.
“Bring your family and friends to make it the success that we are hoping for. Let us use what is right with Jamaica to fix the things that are wrong in our nation,” Lady Allen said, while endorsing the fundraiser.
Dr. Hylton said Jamaicans should support the event and enable the group to “construct a proper, vandal resistant restroom for parents and guardians of children visiting the hospital.”
She added that a building will be constructed to house an office for the Friends volunteer, and a commissary, which will provide basic items, such as toothpaste, diapers, snacks and drinking water.
For her part, Executive at German Ship Repair Jamaica Limited (GSRJ), Dr. Birte Timm, said she has made a personal donation to the event, because it is a “great cause.”
“This is an initiative to provide parents with a basic need, and the work of the group with children is worthy of support,” she told JIS News.
Meanwhile, Senior Medical Officer (SMO) at the Hospital, Dr. Michelle Ann Richards-Dawson, said the Friends form a very “stable support group” for the institution.
“This initiative is a wonderful rebirth for us, and we are excited, because Bustamante will benefit and we can better serve the public,” she told JIS News.
The Bustamante Hospital for Children is the only specialist paediatric hospital in the English speaking Caribbean and when children are admitted, parents and guardians from all over the island have to spend a considerable amount of time with their young ones, hence the need to have proper facilities in place for them to use.
For over 55 years, Friends of the Bustamante Hospital for Children, a registered charitable organisation, has been rendering yeoman service to the institution, such as donating funds to supplement operating costs, constructed the first intensive care unit, purchased and installed a standby generator, and established the Learning and Activity Centre for long-staying patients to continue their schooling and to sit examinations.
The Friends operate under a philosophy that a good health service is “vital to a nation’s growth,” and that it should begin with the care of children.
Their objectives are to assist in identifying the needs of the hospital; to raise funds to improve its infrastructure; and to provide amenities for patients and staff, and persons who visit the hospital.
The hospital has a 283-bed capacity, and caters to children from birth to 12 years.
By: Garfield L. Angus