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RBC gives from the heart

Bank donates $50,000 to help buy pacemaker for cardiac patient

BY KARIM SMITH Observer writer

Tuesday, March 25, 2014    

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RBC Royal Bank has donated $50,000 to the Leo Oakley Foundation to purchase a pacemaker for a female cardiac patient in urgent need of a device.

The donation, which was made last Wednesday at the bank's corporate offices on Dominica Drive in New Kingston, formed part of the bank's celebration of International Women's' Day which was commemorated worldwide on March 8.

According to Karen Watson-Pink, the bank's corporate communications manager, the foundation was chosen as a result of an internal literature competition.

"We encouraged our RBC employees to write and submit an inspirational story/poem about a woman/women in their community or in the organisation, someone whom they admire and who has made a difference in the community or to the organisation. For the winning submissions, the branch/department got a chance to donate $50,000 from RBC to their community outreach or charity. Claudette Ramdanie and Garfield Rodriquez from our Dominica Drive Branch, and Onielia Lawrence from our Montego Bay Branch all won $50,000 for their charity," Watson-Pink said.

Rodriquez, who works as a networking and telecoms engineer at the bank, told the Jamaica Observer that he chose the Leo Oakley Foundation after he found out that there was a patient who was in urgent need of a pacemaker.

"I found out about this lady... through a friend who works at the NHT, so I decided to donate all of my funds to the foundation to help her get the pacemaker that she needs urgently," Rodriguez explained.

Dr Lanie Oakley-Williams, the founder of the Leo Oakley Foundation, said that the foundation was grateful for the donation. She told the Observer that the foundation had raised some funds to assist the needy woman, but more was needed.

"We have to come up US$3,500 for the pacemaker alone. We need more donations to cover the expenses of the surgery. So far we have raised over $250,000 from a movie night we had earlier this month. We are grateful for the donations of Mr Rodriquez and Ms Ramdanie," Oakley-Williams said.

Dr Oakley-Williams expressed thanks on behalf of the cardiac patient, who she said desperately needs the device.

Meanwhile, Claudette Ramdanie, senior accounting manager at the bank, has made a personal donation to the cause while donating her cash prize from the literature competition to the Women's Centre in Kingston.

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