BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau email@example.com
MONTEGO BAY, St James — THE charitable organisation 'We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital', established to raise funds to assist the hospital's operations, received a major boost on Tuesday, when the Fairview branch of Fontana Pharmacy presented a cheque of $250,000 to board members of the organisation.
The funds represent point of sale donations by shoppers to the pharmacy's cashiers over a 14-week period.
Speaking at the brief handing-over ceremony, Fontana's Managing Director Ann Chang said her company was very excited to partner with 'We Care,' in an effort to raise funds for the hospital.
"After 'We Care' was officially launched in May we were very excited to get involved in this worthy cause, so we came back here and presented it to our team and they were all extremely excited about it," said Chang.
She added that the cashiers were offered monthly incentives based on the amount of donations they collected, in an effort to get them motivated.
She singled out Emiko Blythe who collected $80,000 over the 14-week period from customers.
Chang also mentioned Simone Hines who raised $30,000.
For their efforts Blythe received a BlackBerry phone courtesy of Digicel, while Hines was presented with a day pass for Sandals Montego Bay, by Sandal Resorts International CEO Adam Stewart.
'We Care' director Brian Jardim in his brief remarks expressed gratitude to Fontana Pharmacy for their contribution to the initiative.
"You set the pace, you created the template for a point of sale retail operation and we are very grateful for your contribution," he said.
'We Care', which had its official launch in May, was established last year with a group of business operators in Montego Bay.
Its initial efforts are being targeted to the hospital's paediatric ward, operating theatres and the accident and emergency units.
So far the group has raised roughly US$93,000 in cash from a number of fund-raising activities.
Jardim told the Observer West that several other fund-raisers are being planned.
Among them, he said, is a Rainforest Seafood Festival at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay on Ash Wednesday, which is expected to raise at least $5 million, and a Catamaran cruise.