By Gerald V. Paul
How does a Jamaican mother, on behalf of her daughter who is undergoing treatment at SickKids Hospital, thank The Caribbean Children Foundation (TCCF) team?
“In our native tongue, we would say, ‘nuff respect and big up, to you all … thank you so much,” mom Julius Williams told last weekend’s 15th Anniversary Angle Gala as she stood alongside daughter Jalissa Williams, 16, at Elite Banquet Hall.
“Jalissa said thanks. We tried to get help back home in Jamaica but we were advised to seek help from SickKids. To those who have contributed to the foundation, continue to do so. The Lord will bless you. On behalf of our extended family you have supported over the years, thanks,” Williams told the gathering.
Macomere Fifi, the reigning Monarch and Calypso Queen of Canada, continued the melodious refrain with “Mother and daughter, mother and child …”
The gala heard that the average cost for TCCF to treat each child is $25,000 and that to date, the number of children TCCF has treated is 71. Funding paid for surgeries by TCCF is more than $1.5 million.
TCCF President Jay Brijpaul credited his exceptional volunteers.
“Without you we would not be able to continue doing what we started in 2000. Without you there would be dozens of children still suffering life-threatening illnesses, an anguish which we have heard across the miles.”
Friends of TCCF were recognized: In Karma Community Association, The Brij Team, The Caribbean Chorale of Toronto, Toronto Caribbean Carnival (Scotiabank has ceased sponsoring), MACaws and Tranquility Alumni Association of Canada.
Recognized with the Corporate Award was Bluetree Publishing and Design and Rajiv Persaud, a valued member of TCCF family who has been working with TCCF since 2000. TTCF Volunteer of the Year is business owner Chris Gajadar who is engaged in successful community fundraisers.
Dr. Martin A. Koyle of the Hospital for Sick Children said, “It does mean something. It does really help to be out there supporting children in every way. And I think basically what was said by the mother, Julius, has said it all and everything I wanted to express.”
Koyle said we take health care for granted in Canada but noted it was less than 50 years ago that the Medical Care Act was reformed. “Without your support there is no way to treat the less fortunate, especially from the Caribbean.
“But the reality is, things are changing. The fact that SickKids continues to devote time to support children, knowing that it takes monetary support beyond your tax dollars, is a tribute to you and the hospital and to all of us who care about children.”
Next up for TCCF is the First-Annual Rockstone Fashion Event and Fundraiser on Nov. 22 at Serenade Banquet Hall, 821 Runnymede Rd.
Visit www.tccfangels.com for more information.