2015 Children’s Christmas Carnival


Please join us at the Children’s Home again this year for a fun afternoon fundraiser with carnival games, arts and crafts, face painting, and other prizes and surprises!

A $5 entrance fee (or $10 for a family) will cover arts and crafts, bouncy castle and face painting. Hot dogs and hamburgers, soft and alcoholic drinks will be available for sale together with tickets for carnival games and prizes.

***A donation table will be available for individual donations for desperately needed items for the home****

Grand Bahama Children’s Home Christmas Carnival Set for November 28

Friends of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home team are hard at work preparing for the annual fund-raising carnival set for November 28.

By Sharell Lockhart, Freeport News

Tis the season to be jolly and the Grand Bahama Children’s Home (GBCH) will be the epicenter of holiday fun on Saturday, November 28 during the Second Annual Christmas Carnival hosted by Friends of the Home (FTH).

Wendy Buck-Gehr, Friends of the Home (FTH) member noted, “We are excited to spearhead this year’s Christmas Carnival, which is expected to be a wonderful, fun-filled family event designed to galvanize community support for the Home while raising much-needed funds and donations to offset the facilities’ operational expenses.

“Tons of great activities that include face painting, bouncing castles, egg ‘n’ spoon and potato sack races, carnival games, arts and crafts, cookie decorating and great food would be available for all to enjoy.

“Children of the Home are anticipating this event and cannot wait to sing carols with other members of the FTH, trimming the Christmas tree and watching a preview of ‘The Grinch who stole Christmas.’

“The FTH is proud to give back to the GBCH and we want all families participating in this event to have a grand time, as the Christmas Carnival is the perfect way to bring in the holiday season for the children as well as raise awareness within the community about the Home and of their needs.”

GBCH Executive member Sheila Johnson-Smith expressed sincere gratitude to the FTH, who wanted to celebrate the holiday season in a way that children of the Home and the wider community could appreciate.

Hopeful that those supporting the Christmas Carnival would be sensitized to the plight of the children at the Home and make an earnest effort to provide assistance year round Johnson-Smith said, “We are always pleased with the outpouring of support the Home receives from volunteers, private and corporate donors like the FTH, who have been volunteering at the Home and expressed great love for the children here.

“As a result of the FTH our little darlings have the chance to experience the joys of the Christmas holiday season like any other child in loving homes throughout the local community.

“It is truly amazing to see what can happen when everyone comes together to help all our little darlings at the GBCH.

“Thankfully, a donation table will also be set up during the carnival allowing participants to donate a broad range of items such as socks, toiletries and grocery vouchers as well as certificates to help with repairs and maintenance around the Home.

“Every little bit helps as it is an enormous task caring for up to 40 children at a time, 24 hours a day seven days a week hence, the GBCH wishes to thank the FTH and the many individuals, who support us year round including Statoil, GB Shipyard, Polymers, Pelican Bay Resort, GB Power Company/Emera, Sire’s Restaurant, Paint Fair, Kelly’s, Sands Brewery, Rotary Club, M & E, Nesbitt’s Rental, Snack-umms, Elnet Maritime, Flying High Promotions and many more.”

On average it costs $400,000.00 to operate the Home each year and while the Bahamas Government Grant provides $150,000.00 annually, which helps to subsidize staff salaries, but $250,000.00 must be raised from private and corporate donations by the GBCH, which for the past 35 years provides 24-hour care and protection to neglected, abused and abandoned children, who need a safe home, food, clothing, love, guidance and to know they matter.

The number of children in care at the GBCH fluctuates with the holiday season and economic slumps typically show an increase in the number of children admitted. Additionally, volunteers also spend many hours at the Home providing a variety of services like hair cutting, reading and playing with the children revealed Johnson-Smith, who encouraged individuals and families to come to the Home located on Tripp Circle and participate in the Christmas Carnival.

“There is a cover charge per person and families of four to patronize the carnival and anyone looking to donate items or volunteer their time or expertise to the children at the Home, who range in age from birth to 12 years old can call 352-7852.

“Again we look forward to this being a well supported, successful event and thank the FTH and Ms. Buck-Gehr for all they have done and continue to do in aid of the GBCH,” declared Johnson-Smith.

Read the full article with pictures at Freeport News.

Grand Bahama Shipyard donates tournament funds to youth causes

Grand Bahama Shipyard donates tournament funds to youth causes

The Children’s Home received $14,000 dollars for monthly bills, with the balance to go towards food for the Home.

This year’s Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS) fishing tournament brought in more funds than ever before, allowing GBS to significantly contribute to the youth of Grand Bahama.

The proceeds from this year’s tournament were donated to Eight Mile Rock High School, St. George’s High School, Jack Hayward, High School, the Grand Bahama Youth Choir, the Grand Bahama Children’s Home and the Sir Charles Hayward Library.

During a press conference held at the Shipyard, Katherine Smith, Director of Human Resources and Community Relations, noted, “Our community relations efforts are always focused on how we can assist the young in our community through sports, education, arts and culture. Our donations today are representative of those efforts.”

Receiving donations this year were Jack Hayward High School and St. George’s High School, who each received $7,000 dollars towards their technical training programmes, as many of the yard’s apprentices come from those schools.

Sir Charles Hayward Library and the Grand Bahama Youth Choir all received $14,000 dollars for upgrades to their facilities.

The Children’s Home also received $14,000 dollars for monthly bills, with the balance to go towards food for the Home.

In addition to these donations, the Shipyard also gave $40,000 to their sponsor school, Eight Mile Rock High School, towards the purchase of a new school bus.

“This year we are going to reintroduce our welding programme, so this donation is very timely,” said Yvonne Ward, Principal at Jack Hayward High School. “The students benefit greatly from our technical programme as they’re able to prepare for careers in technical fields, including becoming apprentices at the Shipyard. We can’t say thank you enough.”

“The Shipyard is very proud to make these donations. We saw the need that each of these organisations had,” said Reuben Byrd, Acting President and COO at GBS. “When we host this event, we want to do our best to help the Grand Bahama community as much as we can; we know that supporting these youth programmes and helping with education will help prepare students for their various careers.”

The continued success of the annual event fishing tournaments ensures that they can continue to be a blessing to the Grand Bahama community.

You can visit the event’s website grandbahamashipyard.com/fishing or the Grand Bahama Shipyard’s Facebook page to see more information.

“We are thrilled about this donation,” said Shelia Smith, GB Children’s Home Administrator. “This comes at a perfect time for us as we’ve just prepared our children to head back to school and funding is desperately needed.”

Photo 1: Grand Bahama Shipyard donates to the island’s youth – This year’s Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS) fishing tournament brought in more funds than ever before, allowing GBS to significantly contribute to the youth in Grand Bahama. The proceeds from this year’s tournament were donated to Eight Mile Rock High School, St. George’s High School, Jack Hayward High School, the Grand Bahama Youth Choir, the Grand Bahama Children’s Home and the Sir Charles Hayward Library. Pictured is the Grand Bahama Children’s Home receiving their cheque. (Photo courtesy of Derek Carroll for Barefoot Marketing)

New York’s Lauren’s Central High School Donates Again!

Earlier this year the graduating class of Lauren’s Central High School, from upstate New York, came to Grand Bahama for thier Senior trip on a cruise to the island. They wanted to have a community project as part of their trip so the Ministry of Tourism, on the suggestion of Karen Seymour, came to the GB Children’s Home.

The class also brought some items for the children: books, pencils arts and crafts items, as well as hygiene items.

The seniors, along with their teachers and chaperones visited the Home on March 28th 2013. Their transport to the Home was compliments of the Ministry of Tourism and their staff. The assistance with dutiable items being exempted was compliments of the Minister of Finance.

While here at the Home the seniors and the entire entourage had a fantastic time playing, reading and teaching Arts and Crafts to the residents of the Home. They spend several hours with the children.

So how nice was it to get an email and learn that this class had decided to donate the left over funds from thier class trip to our home! Thier teacher Mrs. Celine C. Francisco has organised the funds to come to us and we are again overwhelmed by this amazing class!

Hats off to these beautiful students, may you be blessed!

Rotary at the Colombus House

We want to share some work that is being done by Rotary at the Colombus House, if you can help please let them know:

Rotary Club Of GB Sunrise Big Brother/Big Sister Youth Mentoring Program for Columbus House music program is in full swing now.

Thank you Steve Persaud, Marina Gottlieb, Ryan Carroll, Larry Lewis, Cassie Hadad for donating their time to bring music to their lives. Following Jujitsu with Professor Moss at Jaguar School of Juijitsu every Saturday its Music Time.

Thanks to all who donated guitars to the program. We are now looking for an electronic keyboard, bongos, percussion instruments or any used instrument you have. The kids want to start a band! Please call Jamie Sarles at 351-9081 or 727-8888 and I will pick up the instruments. These kids need activities like this to make their life richer.


Local business community coming together to help raise Grand Bahama’s children

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — Local businesses are continuing to bring smiles to the children at the Grand Bahama Children’s Home … while making an important impact on the Home’s resources thanks to holiday donations received by the Home!

Wanting to spread holiday cheer, UNEXSO partnered with the GB Children’s Home to ensure that every child would have a gift to open on Christmas morning through its Angel Tree campaign.

“We are so grateful that UNEXSO found such a special way to make a difference for our children,” said Mrs. Geneva Rutherford, Executive Committee, GB Children’s Home.

“Every child does deserve some Christmas magic and the sheer joy of unwrapping a gift, knowing someone cares. It meant so much that they reached out to us – especially during such a busy time of the year for them,” she added.

Local medical facility Lucayan Medical Centre also reached out to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home before the end of the year, with a much-needed financial donation to help with expenses at the Home.

“As we all know, the holidays are an expensive time of year for any home – and our Home is no different,” explained Mrs. Rutherford. “We are incredibly grateful to Lucayan Medical Centre and its staff for remembering us and helping us with our basic expenses. Our general expenses have risen, as have everyone else’s, despite our every effort to control them so this donation is very much appreciated and will be put to good use in the operation of our Home,” she said.

The technical staff of Cable Bahamas along with the Wilson family of Smith’s Point donated two boxes of food items to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home to help them start off the new year.

“Cable Bahamas technical staff would like to make this a tradition, and not just during the holiday season,” said representative Carla Russell, Cable Bahamas technical staff.  “We plan to make the Grand Bahama Children’s Home our special project.  This is only the beginning and we want to ensure the youth of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home are provided with the essentials they need to thrive – charity begins in the heart and for us it was heartwarming to elevate our young people in any way we can.”

Mrs. Rutherford noted that it was heartwarming to know how many local businesses like UNEXSO, Lucayan Medical Centre, the Cable Bahamas technical staff among others and along with many families and individuals who were coming forward with overwhelming support for the Home – at a time when it is so very much needed.

“We are truly seeing a community come together to help raise our children and we cannot thank those who support us in what, at times, might seem like an almost insurmountable task. However, it certainly isn’t insurmountable … not when you can count on the support of your community,” she added.

Photo 1: Nikki Waugh, UNEXSO, (third from left) presents gifts for the Grand Bahama Children’s Home. (Photo courtesy of Derek Carroll)

Photo 2: Lucayan Medical staff members present a cheque to Mrs. Geneva Rutherford of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home. (Photo courtesy of Derek Carroll)

Photo 3: Pictured are some of the Grand Bahama-based Cable Bahamas technicians who donated two food boxes to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home to help them start the new year.  They plan to make the home their special project for the year.  Pictured are Steven Munroe, Tyrone Minnis, Charles Saunders, Devin Potier, Addison Bethel presenting to Enzy Jones, GBCH Assistant Administrator.