ANOTHER THREE health-care facilities in Hanover are to benefit from the proceeds of the Friends of the Noel Holmes Memorial Hospital and West Haven Children's Home Annual Charity Ball, which was held at the Grand Palladium Jamaica resort on Saturday.
The charity group led by Gloria and David Leslie will also extend well-needed assistance to the Lucea infirmary and the Dias and Cascade health centres.
Speaking at the event, former Jamaican ambassador to the United States, Anthony Johnson, who also served as high commissioner to the United Kingdom, lauded the Leslies for their philanthropic endeavours and appealed to those in attendance to continue giving to the cause.
"We must continue to help those who are less fortunate, and institutions like the Noel Holmes Hospital and the West Haven Children's Home are playing a great role in the parish under trying circumstances, so even greater support is needed," Johnson said.
Annual fund-raising events
The Leslies have been supporting the Gloria Veira-run children's home and the parish's general hospital through the staging of annual fund-raising events in London for the last 15 years. The first local staging took place with the handover of donated equipment and items in 2010.
A contingent of about 23 Caribbean nationals, mostly Jamaicans but including representatives from Montserrat, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada, made the trip to Jamaica from Britain for the ceremony.
The Friends of Noel Holmes Hospital was conceptualised in 1998 when the Leslies returned to their hometown of Lucea and saw the needs that existed at the hospital.
"We decided to assist and, since then, the support has grown tremendously so, every year, we give to the hospital," Leslie (Gloria), a retired nurse told The Gleaner.
Mayor of Lucea, Councillor Shernett Haugthon, who was in attendance at the ceremony, lauded the charity group for their contribution to the development of the parish, while Custos of Hanover Dr David Stair reiterated the need for continuous volunteerism.
"Poverty and infirmity are not an indictment on those who are poor and ill, they, too, have the right to the best health care, the best education and the best protection society can afford," Custos Stair said.
He added: We are grateful to organisations such as this group who, in recognising that governments cannot do all that needs to be done at one time, are willing to put their money where their mouth is."