On Thursday, September 19, the UWI Medical and Dental Class of 2016 will be staging this year's annual Smoker. It is dubbed 'UWI Smoker 2013 - 2Intents'.
The production will run to September 22 and aims to raise $2.8 million to purchase two incubators and other medical equipment for the Neonatal Unit of the Savanna-la-Mar Public Hospital in Westmoreland.
"Three out of every five newborns need to spend a few days in an incubator, as it provides an optimal environment for babies to develop. However, the public facility does not have the services of an incubator. With the absence of the incubators, mothers are disadvantaged as premature births cannot be accommodated on the Paediatric Ward of the hospital," Smoker 2013's production chairperson, Danielle Levy, told The Gleaner.
The organisers also aim to procure phototherapy light to help babies with jaundice.
Levy said "In the past most performances have donated their ticket earnings to charities in and around the Corporate Area. We decided to venture outside this year by donating the proceeds to the people of Westmoreland".
"What better way to serve our Jamaican people than from the cradle," she asked.
Levy noted that the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital has no partners or sponsors to call on.
Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) will once again be the title sponsor for Smoker.
Ricardo Dystant, E-Channels and discount business manager at JNBS, said JNBS is fully aware of its role as a community-oriented organisation. "The location of a JNBS branch on the UWI, Mona Campus is further indication of our commitment to support the next generation of professionals and entrepreneurs," he said.
This year's production, entitled 2 Intents: Sometimes You Have to Lose to Win, follows the life of a young couple being threatened by issues in their past and dealing with consequences of decisions affecting their future.
Ticket prices range from $1,200 to $2,800 and are available at Monarch Pharmacy in Sovereign Centre, Salon Splurt, Endless Summer Boutique, Xtras-Mall Plaza and On Call Café.