Ackee for Charity Does It For The Children

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

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Corporate law firm MH&CO Attorneys-at-Law has raised J$3,000,000.00 for the University Hospital of the West Indies Department of Child Health through their inaugural charity function, Ackee: A Culinary Lime for Charity.

The company held the handover ceremony on Friday, November 22, 2019 at the Jamaica Observer 's boardroom supported by some of the event's primary sponsors Janus Strategic Marketing Services, Main Event Entertainment Group, and Phase 3 Productions. Guests were treated to culinary delights from Chef Oji Jaja of Ashebre.

Managing partner of the New Kingston-based law firm Matthew Hogarth was candid in expressing the motive for the initiative. “We are here today because we had this vision of creating a charity to assist the Child Health Department of the University Hospital of the West Indies. Some of you know that this was born out of our daughter being admitted there two years ago with pneumonia, and at that time we decided we had to do something to assist.” He went on to say, “We decided to use the 10th anniversary of MH&CO Attorneys-at-Law as a platform to spearhead this charity.”

Ackee: A Culinary Lime for Charity raised funds with the support of many corporate sponsors who all share the same vision for the child health department. This money will be utilised for the immediate needs the department has identified. The bigger vision for the charity is to assist with and support the construction and development of a new self-contained building to house the Child Health Department and this will be the main corporate social responsibility project of MH&CO until this vision has been realised. “We have been talking about expanding the facilities from long before I was appointed chair. In fact, we have a very detailed plan on how to reconfigure the entire University Hospital, and this generous gift fits right into the very first phase of it. We are tremendously thankful,” said Professor Evan Duggan, board chair at the hospital. Fitzgerald Mitchell, senior director of operations & facilities, supported the board chair's comments. “The Department of Child Health at the University Hospital has been a temporary building for over 50 years and under our watch we are determined, along with the Hogarths, to have that situation remedied before we depart this Earth. I am so excited about the vision that we share and will make into reality in our time.”

Managing Director of Janus Strategic Marketing Services Lisa Hogarth highlighted the support received for the staging of the charity function. “Ackee could not have taken place without the generous support of our sponsors and we are joined by Main Event and Phase Three for the presentation. We would also like to recognise Select Brands and Sagicor X Fund. These companies not only gave generously but supported the planning process.”

She went on to emphasise the shared vision of herself and her husband with the University Hospital of the West Indies. “We have world-class doctors, sought after across the world. We need to have a facility to match,” she expressed.

The final expression of appreciation was made by Dr Roxanne Melbourne-Chambers, head of the Child and Adolescent Health Department at UHWI, who commended MH&CO for utilising the company's 10th anniversary to commemorate the project. “At your 10-year juncture, to feel so moved to give back, it says so much about the quality of your existence and we want to thank you for that. We will do all that we can to see this vision come to fruition and through that we will continue to strive to provide best care service to our nation.”

Melbourne-Chambers was followed by Marva Forbes, director of nursing, Child Health, UHWI, who closed the event, “I feel very enthusiastic about this, I want to see a state-of-the-art paediatric unit at the hospital. A lot of persons don't know that we exist and through your effort's we are now being recognised as a paediatric unit of the University Hospital.”

The firm is in the process of incorporating Ackee and registering it as an official charity and has appointed a board of relevant and qualified members. The money raised through the first staging of Ackee: A Culinary Lime for Charity will be independently managed and administered by Pearce Jarrett & Company Chartered Accountants through a bank account established by it for such purposes, in order to ensure transparency and proper fund management and distribution to third-party suppliers nominated by UHWI.


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