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Variety the Children’s Charity of Barbados and Beacon Insurance, have come together to bring cheer to 250 children this Christmas.

Donnah Russell, Executive Director of Variety the Children’s Charity of Barbados, noted that the charity’s annual Christmas party was hosted by Beacon Insurance this year. She thanked Beacon for their generous support at a time when it was most needed and welcomed them on board the Variety family.

The party is a part of Variety’s Future Kids programming which seeks to give children the gift of social experiences and play. For many of them watching the feature film “Peanuts” compliments Olympus Theatres, it was the first time at the movies.

During the movie the children were treated to popcorn drinks and snacks, including the Christmas traditional ham cutter. The day’s activities also included Disco dancing, and a visit from Santa, who handed out treats. As the children left the cinema they were presented with a loot bag compliments Beacon Insurance.

Beacon General Manager, Mr. Brian Hennis, expressed his company’s policy on giving back and said “Beacon was pleased to partner with Variety the Children’s Charity in bringing joy to children during the Christmas season. Variety works tirelessly to ensure that children can enjoy the essence of the holiday season and we are happy to assist, as part of our “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” corporate social responsibility programme.”

Each child at the party also received a gift sponsored by Beacon and a toy donated by the Robinson Smiles Foundation of Washington, USA.

PICU at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Variety Club Caribbean Barbados Inc. was officially registered under the laws of Barbados on November 25, 1994. Some years earlier, Dr. Richard Ishmael, Michael Pemberton, Cheryl Lady Forde and a few other dedicated founding members worked together to raise the necessary capital to start a Variety chapter. The first major project identified was the need for a five-bed Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to provide intensive focused care to monitor and treat the most serious conditions of children in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

On Tuesday September 16th, 1997, this vision became a reality Variety – Tent 73 was instrumental in funding the majority of equipment for a new four-bed PICU within the Paediatric Unit of the QEH. The QEH has been equipped to handle emergency admissions for young patients requiring various levels of life support and care for immediate post-operative open heart surgical patients, orthopaedic and neurological patients from Barbados and other Caribbean countries.

The unit has since seen thousands of patients and has been upgraded over the years by Variety and other local organisations. Variety Barbados has pledged its continued assistance to the PICU and by extension the children in Barbados. The volunteers and members of Variety also contribute their time and talents to the children of the PICU. Gold Hearts campaign which runs from February to early March, Variety volunteers as well as local and overseas members can be seen chatting and playing with the children during an annual visit to the unit. The children thoroughly enjoy the visit which usually comes with treats of colouring books, crayons, pencils and soft toys.


June 27th was a day of fun, excitement and giving. That’s when Variety the Children’s Charity of Barbados held its annual Row for Charity event.  Teams competed in two kayak races and one stand up paddle board race.  There was also a tug of war competition for children.  The beach adjacent to Harbour Lights, Carlisle Bay, came alive with several excited participants and scores of intrigued spectators.  In the end, the children of Barbados were the ultimate winners.  The event raised money that will be put to good use by Variety.  We thank everyone who helped to make the Row for Charity a great success.  Congratulations to the winning teams: Aesthetic Dental Challengers (who won the Wind Warriors Wonder Race), iMart (who won the Motor Maniacs Madness Race for the 4th consecutive year) and the Peddling Paddlers (who won the Stand-Up Paddle Relay Race).

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