TCCF celebrates 68 little Angels
By Gerald V. Paul
“Thank you for making another year for The Caribbean Children Foundation (TCCF) possible. Without you, we would not be able to continue doing what started in 2000.
“Without you, there would be dozens of children still suffering from life-threatening illnesses, an anguish which we have heard across the miles,” Jay Brijpaul, president of The Caribbean Children Foundation, told the 14th Anniversary Angle Gala – they had to turn away 100 people – at Elite Banquet Hall on Saturday, with 68 Angels helped so far.
Brijpaul, moved to tears as he described this labour of love – TCCF is managed and run entirely by volunteers, no one is paid – said that to make this possible was, and is, an ongoing effort in raising money.
“To date, we have raised and paid out $1.3 million for their care.”
He noted that some of the Angels helped as babies are now healthy, robust normal teenagers with their whole lives ahead of them, reminding supporters that every one of them was worth it.
There must be no limits on the health and wellbeing of a child, Brijpaul said. Among the numerous success stories: an Angel is attending the University of Guyana with the mission to become a medical doctor and help others.
“This year was a special one for TCCF as we embarked on a new venture that saw 13 children receive surgical care at hospitals in the Dominican Republic and Honduras. This effort was coordinated by one of our own, Dr. Narendra Singh, a Guyanese-Canadian doctor and his colleagues who stepped outside of the box to make it possible and affordable,” Brijpaul said.
Brijpaul praised the Herbie Fund and the work of Gina Godfrey, founder and president, for stepping in to make up any financial shortfall they may have with their Angels. “This fund has helped almost every single one of the children who passed through TCCF.
“This year, Gina Godfrey is retiring and we all give a prayer of thanks for someone as generous as her standing at our side.”
Brijpaul noted another milestone for TCCF was the formation of Inspire2Act, the youth arm that encourages participation and support from 20- to 30-year-olds to stage and manage their own fundraisers and to complement established TCCF events.
He also thanked the CARICOM diplomatic corps “who always step up when called upon to help the TCCF in whatever way they can. Indeed, the continuing interest of the Diplomatic Corps has kept us focused on the job at hand, which is to be the guardians to our Angels, our children.”
Brijpaul said, “We welcome ongoing support, through sponsorship, donating expertise with social media and web development and contributing to our annual fundraising events through attendance with family, friends and coworkers. Please contact us at tccfangels.com.”
Returning friends of TCCF were on hand and presented annual donations: Dr. Martin A. Koyle, Sickkids Hospital; Gina Godfrey and husband Paul V. Godfrey, president and CEO, Postmedia Network Canada Corp., and Travis Persaud, Elvis Presley tribute artist.
A corporate award was presented to the Festival Management Committee, producer of Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival. CEO Denise Herrera-Jackson and her team accepted the award. The committee, through the annual gala’s donation matching program has assisted TCCF in raising $15,000 over the past three years.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of your fundraising efforts to improve the lives of your TCCF Angels through the annual Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Gala,” Herrera-Jackson said.
A TCCF Volunteer Recognition award was given to Donna Richmond, one of TCCF’s hidden gems of outstanding community service.
Friends of TCCF who made a financial contribution were Caribbean Chorale of Toronto, Festival Management Committee, producer of Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival; INKARMA; McMaster Association of West Indian Students; the Brij Team and Tranquility Alumni Association of Canada.