Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, receiving the ‘gold sponsorship card’ from Honorary Secretary of the Barbados Cancer Society, Dr. Dorothy Cooke-Johnson, while Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Shirley Farnum, Producer of The Magical Story Book Show, Anna Adamira and Neysha Soodeen of Maco Magazine look on. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??

Corporate Barbados and members of the public have been called on to support The Magical Story Book Show, a fundraising event to help children with cancer.

At a press conference earlier today, Minister of Culture and Patron of the show, Stephen Lashley, lauded the initial sponsors and appealed to others and the public to see it as a venture they should become a part of, since it would show how much Barbadians cared.

"We have to create that cushion so that any of us, or our children who need help, can get it without too much strain and the more we can come together and pool our collective efforts and our resources, the less strain it would be … on the Barbados Cancer Society," he stated.

Mr. Lashley noted that $300,000 was required to produce the show and it was hoped that $600,000 would be raised in the first year.

Over 300 children, some from six dance schools, will be involved in the show, to be held at the Wildey Gymnasium from November 30 to December 3. It will be managed and produced by Anna Adamira, and it is a fundraiser for the Barbados Cancer Society, specifically for those children with cancer.

The Minister described it as a worthwhile project to save the lives of our children whose parents had to battle with scarce resources.?? "…With all the things that might be going down, we focus our attention periodically on some of the crisis issues, without recognising that the quiet crises still continue and our children still need that help. I believe that this is a useful venture.?? I am hoping that the target which the Society is hoping to reach by means of this Magical Story Book Show will be surpassed about 10 or 15 times," he said.

Honorary Secretary of the Barbados Cancer Society, Dr. Dorothy Cooke-Johnson, pointed out that the much-needed funds from the show would empower the Society’s services and quality of response.

Dr. Cooke-Johnson continued: "The Society has managed its children’s programme for over 30 years, and has expanded and improved every year due to increased requests. Annually, there may be 15-20 new cases at ages zero through 16. Fortunately, there have always been fewer than seven deaths annually. But, during those 30 years, of the 500plus children diagnosed, the Society has been privileged to walk hand in hand with many of those families as we assist them in various ways."

She pointed out that the Society "raises 97 per cent" of its budget through fundraising, which she described as vital. "Imagine a child suffering from leukaemia, lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumour of the kidney, liver cancer, brain cancer, osteosarcoma, retinoblastoma – these are the most common paediatric cancers. There is nothing so tragic and we seem so helpless. And only money can help. But, the money has to be raised," she emphasised.

Producer/Director of The Magical Story Book Show, Anna Adamira, said the actors were currently being sourced from across the island and that she had started rehearsals with the three main comic characters.

Ms. Adamira added that the stories would be presented in their original forms and that Disney’s characters would not be used.

Additional information on the show can be obtained from the website http://www.themagicalstorybook.com/.


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