The Grand Bahama chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity under the direction of president Adrian Carey and advisor Rev. Reno Smith has recently announced it will once again extend its hand of charity to those in need within the community of Grand Bahama and The Bahamas.
The fraternity has decided this year to lend its support to the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation and raise funds during its annual 'Dollar Day' fund-raising Drive.
According to Rev. Smith due to the fraternity's late start this year as it regards its fund-raising efforts, two drives will be held within the Grand Bahama community, with the first beginning this Saturday, February 23 and next Saturday, March 2.
"The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity here on Grand Bahama will endorse the Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation with their project to help repair the many little hearts across The Bahamas.
"We will once again host our annual 'Dollar Day Drive' beginning this Saturday, February 23 at 8:00 a.m. at the intersection of Coral Road and East Sunrise Highway however due to the fraternity getting off to a late start in its fund-raising efforts this year we intend to host a second 'Dollar Day Drive' on the corners of Pioneer's Way and the Mall Drive on Saturday, March 2.
"I have been reliably informed by Ingrid Sears, PR Officer of The Heart Ball Committee that it takes at least $250,000.00 a year to assist various families across The Bahamas in receiving heart surgeries for their young children.
"Therefore all the officers and members of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity thought it most proper and fitting in spite of what Grand Bahama is going through to lend our support to the foundation and its efforts.
"We are a resilient people here on Grand Bahama and we know how to give through our own needs so we are asking members of the public to please come out and support us as we try to help the many little hearts of children across this country that are in need of surgery," Rev. Smith said.
On hand for the announcement was little Jordan Carey, one of the poster children for the Heart Ball Committee along with his mother and grandmother, Joretta and Mildred Roberts respectively.
Jordan affectionately called little Elmo by members of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, underwent an open-heart surgery at the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in November 2011 thanks to financial assistance rendered by the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation.
His mother Joretta revealed had it not been for the foundation her now happy and healthy two year old, may not have been able to receive the much needed surgery.
"Jordan was able to undergo heart surgery which was funded by the Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation.
"Should we have had to come up with the money for the surgery, it could have ranged between $200,000.00 and $ 250,000.00 but thankfully due to the foundation funding surgeries for children every year, the agreements in place with the hospitals and doctors to offer these surgeries at a discounted rate, which can range between $25,000.00 to $60,000.00 per child Jordan and many other children were able to receive the care they need. "Each person throughout the length and breadth of the Bahamas can also do their part in making contributions to the foundation. "You may not be able to give $250.00 but you can donate as little as $5.00 to $10.00 or any amount you may see fit to this cause. "This is an awesome opportunity for the general public to give back to children which could very well be our own neighbors, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and cousins. "Oftentimes Bahamians tend to give to persons abroad and of course there is nothing wrong with that but charity does begin at home and end abroad, so I encourage the public to support the Phi Beta Sigma's 'Dollar Day' Drive and log on to the sassoonheartfoundation.org to learn more about the organization and extend your charitable contributions even further," said Roberts. Additionally fraternity president Carey stated, "Phi Beta Sigma is an organization that is devoted to service to humanity and boosting the civic consciousness of our country. "Again we are proud to endorse this project as it is our civic duty and last year we would have conducted our Dollar Day Drive of which the community was extremely supportive of and we say thank you. "One hundred percent of the proceeds raised will go directly to the Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation so we encourage the public to once again partner with us and support both drives."