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News Article
Foot pain putting a kink in your exercise program

Beginning a new exercise program is very rewarding but can also have some setbacks. Foot pain is one of the most common setbacks to any exercise program. A survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association found foot problems are a major deterrent to exercise, contributing to alarming rates of overweight and obesity. In the study, as much as 72 percent of persons surveyed admitted they did not exercise because foot pain prevented them from doing so. The feet were listed as the number one body part to experience pain.
Foot pain can put a serious kink in your new exercise routine and contribute to negative health consequences. It is important to know that foot pain is not normal and people should seek the care of a podiatrist immediately if foot pain arises - especially after starting an exercise program. Often times this can happen because the body is adjusting to the new exercise routine and use of muscles and joints that had previously been sedentary.
There are many other causes of foot pain. Wearing shoes that don't fit properly is one of the most common reasons why people (especially women) get foot pain. Other common causes of foot pain may include heel pain, foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes, arthritis, trauma, ligament strain, tendinitis, stress fracture or other injuries.
Any pain in the foot or ankle of a walker or runner is an indication that it is time to stop, rest and evaluate the situation. Foot problems or pain that comes on shortly after starting an exercise program can be minor or a sign of a more serious foot conditions. One must reevaluate all aspects of the exercise routine - speed, distance and equipment, including shoes. It is generally best to wait until all foot pains are gone before restarting your exercise. If foot pains persist in spite of resting, you should see your podiatrist for an evaluation.
It is critical that people pay attention to their feet and seek treatment for any foot problems. Before starting an exercise program, see your primary care physician for a complete physical exam and your podiatrist to have a foot check up. Wearing well-fitting, good quality footwear can support the foot during exercise to minimize any chance of injury. Stretching before and after exercising along with warming up and cooling down can also help to prevent injury. Foot exercises will increase flexibility and also prevent injury.
Adult and childhood obesity is a major concern for all Bahamians. Exercise is a major strategy to help combat this epidemic. If adults and children have foot pain they will not exercise or will not do so regularly. Proper foot health and pain-free feet play a vital role in keeping everyone healthy and exercising consistently. Visiting a podiatrist to evaluate and fix the cause of any foot pain is critically important. The take home message here is that foot pain is not normal and if you are having foot pain, pause your workout and consult your local podiatrist.

oFor more information visit www. apma.org or if you have foot pain, visit a local podiatrist at Bahamas Foot Centre, Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane, telephone 394-5924.

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News Article
St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital Trike-A-Thon returns to The Bahama

The 2nd Annual St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital Trike-A-Thon in The Bahamas is all set to return to Sandyport on Friday, January 27 to raise money for St. Jude's Hospital -- the world's premier center for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases.
Organizers hope to repeat last year's tremendous success where preschoolers from Tambearly and The Meridian Schools raised over $13,000.
At St. Jude's, no child from anywhere in the world is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay. As a result, St. Jude's relies heavily on community-based fundraising programs around the world like the Trike-A-Thon.
There are currently two active St. Jude patients from The Bahamas.
Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals and Beaches Resorts, has returned as the main sponsor, and the line-up of participating schools has expanded with the coming on board of the Lyford Cay International School.
A St. Jude's Hospital tradition for more than 25 years, Trike-A-Thon is a fun, week-long curriculum for daycare centers and pre-schools, designed to raise funds, get the public involved and raise awareness through interactive activities. Children learn riding, toy safety lessons through a series of interactive stories from special characters, Bikewell Bear and Pedals the Bunny.
On the last day of Trike-A-Thon week (Friday, January 27) participating children will bring their trikes or riding-toys to the specially marked and supervised course at Sandyport to practice the safety lessons they have learned and raise funds for the hospital. The community can sponsor children in Trike-A-Thon by pledging an amount-per-lap or making a one-time donation. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. under the theme "Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not".
The event is open to children ages two to six years old. Residents of Sandyport are invited to participate by reporting to the designated area with riding gear and helmet. There will be a small registration fee of $5 per child to cover food and drink -- proceeds from which will be donated to the Princess Margaret Crisis Centre.
Sandals Foundation director of programs, Heidi Clarke, commended the charity and commented on the Sandals Foundation's involvement.
"St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital plays a major role in treating and developing cures for children across the world. The Sandals Foundation is proud to be affiliated with a charity dedicated to making a difference in people's lives."
The Sandals Foundation plays an active role across the Caribbean with a focus on community, education and the environment. The Foundation believes that while working with communities to tackle a myriad of issues, strategic programs directed sustainable and positive impact, can be developed to better the lives of the Caribbean people.
In 2010, St. Jude's was ranked the most trusted charity in the United States and was named the top children's cancer hospital in the 2010-2011 Best Children's Hospitals rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit www.stjude.org.

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News Article
Predatory behavior in dogs and cats

Dogs were originally domesticated to take advantage of their hunting abilities. Our ancestors redirected the natural instinct of the dog's ability to hunt in packs benefiting from the dog's tracking skill and speed in pursuit of common prey. Thousands of years of selected breeding have produced a lot of different breeds.
The Bloodhound was developed for its sense of smell, and the Saluki and Borzoi for their keen eyesight. Labradors for hunting birds, Coonhounds for hunting raccoons and Rodesian Ridgebacks for hunting lions.
Dog breeds were developed to hunt certain animals, like the Irish wolfhound and the foxhound which were developed to hunt wolves and foxes. Some breeds were developed to protect other animals. The Border collie and Elkhound were developed to protect small ruminants. Daschunds and Terrier breeds were bred to pursue ground prey. The English bulldog and American Pitbull Terrier were originally bred for uninhibited predatory and dominant social aggression for their owner's entertainment such as dogfights. The Saint Bernard and the German shepherd were both developed for more humanitarian applications, such as the search and rescue talents that we see today.
Undesirable predatory behavior is relatively common in dogs. Most pets are genetically predisposed towards some form of predatory behavior. This type of behavior is a problem because the dog can cause injury, be self-injured, or be exposed to contagious diseases.
The most obvious disadvantage of predatory behavior by dogs is the unnecessary injury or death of other animals, including wildlife and other pets that appear to be offensive and unnecessary. It can also take a more sinister form when directed against family members, particularly if they are children and infants. Predatory instincts are most likely to be redirected towards children when infants begin to crawl and walk. The dog may not display any interest in an immobile newborn, but may show some interest in the same newborn when it begins crawling around your home. So never leave a child (toddler) unattended around even the most trusted pet.
With the exception of lions, most cats hunt alone and primarily at night. Predatory behavior in cats is both instinctual and learned. Kittens in the form of play, practice hunting techniques. Some house cats without prior experience instinctively react to prey animals that cross their path.
Owners may be horrified when their cat presents them with a half-eaten mouse or bird. This is not a gift to the owner for its gratitude for the owner's care and hospitality, but a maternal instinct when the cat brings back prey to its home for their young ones. The mother will normally bring dead prey - even regurgitating half-digested food for her newborn litter. As the kittens grow, she will return with live prey to teach the kittens how to prey. A cat's instinct may be to carry its prey to a sheltered area, but not to consume it. Some cat owners proclaim that it's cruel to restrict a cat's natural instinct to hunt.
Prevent predatory behavior in dogs and cats.
In dogs, deny your dog the opportunity to hunt. Prevent opportunities for them to roam unsupervised outdoors. Insure that your home is fenced or walled in if hunting occurs beyond your property.
Minimize your dog's desire to roam and hunt by providing other activities. Discourage wild and undisciplined behavior. Walk your dog on a leash and practice obedience skills daily.
In cats, the only practical way to resolve undesirable predatory behavior is to prevent it. The instinct to hunt can be so strong that it lasts a lifetime. The clinic cat, Sneaky, hunts everyday and will bring a dead mouse to us most times. Of course, we like this because it is a means of rodent control. Hunting is a part of a cat's outdoor activities, regardless of how he is fed. It may help to attach bells to a collar to warn unsuspecting targets. Remember that your pet can be injured in its attempt to capture prey and is susceptible to the health risks associated with roaming outdoors.

o Dr. Basil Sands can be contacted at the Central Animal Hospital at 325-1288.

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Event
Humane Society of Grand Bahama Presents Potcake Pals Summer Camp 2012
Humane Society of Grand Bahama Presents Potcake Pals Summer Camp 2012

Friday 29th June 2012  9:00 AM

Humane Society of Grand Bahama Presents Potcake Pals Summer Camp 2012 Your kids will learn: .From on site vet .Animal Care .Basic Puppy Obedience .Why We Spay and Neuter .What the Humane Society is and what we do, etc. Field Trips .Garden of the Groves, .Ol' Freetown Farm .Junkanoo Beach Club Plus Arts and Craft & More! Monday, June 25th thru Friday 29th 9am-1pm Cost: $85 per child (includes T-shirt) Ages 8 & Up To Register please contact bevdobinson@aol.com scooby19582@gmail.com or hand in completed registration forms at the Humane Society


News Article
Medical Pavilion staff spread holiday cheer to children

Christmas is a time for giving and sharing. This year, instead of sharing and exchanging gifts amongst themselves, the staff at The Medical Pavilion Bahamas decided to give gifts to those less fortunate instead.
Over 100 gifts were given to the boys and girls of the Bahamas Children's Emergency Hostel, the young ladies at the Willie Mae Pratt Centre for Girls, and the young men at the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys.
Each center was contacted beforehand, and gifts were centered on the needs and specific requests of the organizations.
The Medical Pavilion staff hoped the gifts helped to meet the needs of the children at each of the centers during the Yuletide season and the New Year, while helping to bring a smile of happiness to their faces.
Dr. Conville Brown, founder, president and CEO of the Bahamas Heart Center and the Medical Pavilion Bahamas, congratulated his staff for their selfless idea of giving gifts to the less fortunate in the community, and truly sharing the Christmas spirit.
The Medical Pavilion Bahamas is home to the Bahamas Heart Center, the Bahamas Chest Centre, the Cancer Centre, the Imaging Centre, the Breast Centre and now the Dialysis Centre. Located at 72-74 Collins Avenue, the Medical Pavilion provides state-of-the-art medical care while seeking to ensure affordable access to all through its partnered care model.

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News Article
When love hurts

Seven years into the marriage she thought would last a lifetime, Jane Doe's (name changed) husband delivered the first blow. From what she remembers, prior to that first incident of spousal abuse, he had flown into a jealous rage. Like most women, she did not leave -- at least -- not for 26 years because they had a child. During the marriage that lasted more than two decades, she says she suffered abuse that ranged from verbal to physical.
She has sported black eyes, had her lips split and been beaten black and blue and called everything from slut to whore. He hit her so hard one time her jaw locked. Laughing at the memory, she said she had to because if she didn't she would cry.
"Looking back at it, you only could laugh. Back then it was serious, but now ..."
As she went about in public she hid behind big, dark shades and slathered on the makeup. She had to hide the bruises
"I disguised myself," said the 40-something Jane Doe who describes herself as an actor, as she appeared in the public year-after-year by her husband's side, with bruises she kept hidden to protect his reputation.
"I was the lowest paid movie star there was. I couldn't let the public know what was happening because you lose their respect in some instances; so I had to keep it all in for many years. You see people walking around here with a smile on their face, and in some cases, they're holding and carrying a lot of scars. The airport doesn't have anything on them with luggage. You just tote it around, and you can't say anything."
The Does were divorced in March 2011, after separating in August 2009. Jane Doe worked up the courage to leave after she had finally endured one too many beatings.
The "straw that broke the camel's back" she says was the last time he hit her, when her husband made the beatings she'd endured in private public.
"What made it really bad was that it was done outside the home and he took all my good stuff ... all of my good clothing and threw them outside into the front yard. That did it for me. Plus the fact that our daughter had left home and gotten married, I said it was time to go."
The public debacle and with their daughter grown and out of the house, she says cemented for her that she needed to leave before she ended up dead. The one thing she did not want to become was a murder statistic.
To date, 16 women have been murdered this year.
The Bahamas Crisis Centre provides services to people who are victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. It aims to promote the safety and healing of survivors and their families According to the Centre's website, millions of women are physically, sexually, or emotionally abused every year by someone they know and love -- their husband or partner. And that it happens to women of all ages, races, religions and income levels.
Information on the site says domestic violence includes hitting, slapping, pushing, cursing, hurting, threatening, denying freedom and withholding money.
"A beating is never a good feeling. It was more or less a shock when it first happened... It was devastating."
After the initial beating she says he did not hit her again for a few months. But after the second beating, she says he beat her at least once a month over the years.
Even though she knew it wasn't right, she says she stayed.
In an effort to appease her husband, so that he did not abuse her, Jane Doe says she threw herself into his activities to try to please him. She stood by his side at press conferences and appearances to promote their initiative that involved mentoring children.
"I tried not to tick him off."
But she says he got jealous if she went to church and accused her of sleeping with members. If she left home and stayed too long, she said he would call her cell phone and tell her to get home.
"He always wanted me in his sights because he thought I was talking to somebody or somebody was trying to get to me. And if he saw me doing something for somebody, or planning an event or something, and it wasn't his event, that's another thing. And that's when it really starts and the blows would start. I was supposed to do whatever he wanted and not have a life of my own."
The couple's daughter witnessed the abuse in some instances. During those times when she didn't physically witness her father beating her mother, Jane Doe said the daughter would see the bruises from the beatings.
"My daughter would come in and see him beating me and she would cry out and say 'stop hitting mommy', but the rage would have just taken him over. When my daughter was younger, I tried to find things to take her mind off what she saw because they tend to forget... I mean they don't forget, but if you keep their minds occupied with other things... I tried to flip the script more or less so they would forget about it. I made excuses. But as she grew older, she knew it wasn't what mommy was saying. After she went off to college, it was a little better because she wasn't there to witness the beatings."
The product of a two-parent home, Jane Doe says she stayed for as long as she did because she wanted the same upbringing for her daughter that she'd had.
"I knew what it was to have parents who cared for me. I wanted the same for my child. And I took my marriage vows seriously and wanted it to last. I wanted us to grow old together in the same home and become grandparents."
Notwithstanding what she had to endure, she says her husband was a good father.
"He was an excellent father, and an excellent husband to a degree, but a lot of people can't handle fame. They can't handle reaching to the top."
When she looks back at her marriage to the popular member of society, she says there may have been a whole lot of bad, but there was some good.
Now that she's out of the abusive relationship, looking back, she says she would have left earlier.
Her advice to other women facing similar situations of abuse is to do what she did and get out. She says women have to know who they are and what they want. And while it took her many years to make the break, Jane Doe says she did it and that many women aren't as lucky as she is. She says the first beating is always a sign and that if it happens once, it will happen again.
"If they do it once, they will do it a second time. If it happens once, nip it in the bud because you never know ... one of these times may be fatal. And that was my thought on the very last time it happened to me -- it was that I might not wake up, so I wanted to get out while the getting out's good."
Because of the high profile image she and her spouse endured, she says she had no one to confide in, and he didn't want her to have friends.
"When you're in the spotlight you can't say much because people tend not to believe you and then because of the kind of character he displayed on the outside, no one would have believed it."
She says she tried to confide in two people who did not believe her because of who her husband was.
She says she also visited the police approximately 28 times to make complaints, but said nothing happened due to who her husband was.
"Not until I actually went there (the station) one day and sat there, that some good Samaritan stepped in and helped. People protect who they want, especially the 'high-falutin' superstars' as I call them."
And she preferred not to involve her family members in her marriage because they too held her husband in high esteem. She also did not believe in airing her family's business outside the walls of their home.
"When you go to that altar you say for better or for worse, and you don't want anyone taking sides, and my family would definitely take my side. I never wanted anyone involved. If there's an argument we dealt with it."
She says she has never really spoken in-depth with her daughter about the abuse -- not even after she became an adult and was married herself.
"She's found someone, and [abuse] is definitely a no-no. She is happy in her life, and I don't want to overshadow it with my dark clouds."
But if her daughter is ever the victim of spousal abuse, Jane Doe says she would want her to come to her, even though she didn't go to her own family.
"I would definitely want her to come and say what is what. Depending on the nature of it, I may step in, as well as I may just coach from the back, but I definitely don't want anyone to go through that because I don't think a relationship is supposed to be like that. It's supposed to be something where both of you shouldn't have to govern what you say to each other and [have to watch] what you say. It should always be an open something. It should always be something fun and you could crack a joke with each other and be able to laugh and have a good time, rather than always being scared to feel that something I would say could trigger a beating. Sometimes I would see guys and say boy they fit hey, or they in good shape, and I would get it all right. But he could comment on how a female looks."
They're officially divorced, but Jane Doe says her ex-husband still calls and says nasty things to her and she sees him constantly driving past her home.
She says she actually got the courage to leave as a result of being a member of one of those very same service organizations. She was a part of the organization for more than a decade, but was only able to travel with them to an international convention for the first time in May 2011.
With 2012 on the horizon and the rest of her life ahead of her, Jane Doe says she's living her life, happy that she's not a part of the murder statistics.
Her advice to women being abused is to get out.
"The first beating is always a sign that they will always come back and do it again. If they do it once they will do it a second time. If it happens once, nip it in the bud because you never know. One of these times it may be fatal, and that was my thought on it. The very last time, I said I may not wake up. So get out while the getting out's good, and have someone you can confide in, which I didn't have, which I've learned from."
When leaving an abusive relationship, the Crisis Centre advises that the abused call the center at 328-0922 for help as counselors can assist with a safety plan.

When you have decided to leave, they advise that you pack a bag and leave it with a friend or neighbor, and to make sure that you pack extra clothes. If you have children, pack their favorite toy. And to keep an extra set of house and car keys outside of the house in case you have to leave in a hurry.
Important documents that you should take with you include birth certificates, any medication and health insurance papers, check and/or savings books, passports, pay slips and any court papers.

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News Article
Celebrate life and love

It's hot!
It's chic!
It's elegant!
It's sophistication at its best, but it's still an evening filled with love, laughter, dancing and in general a good time. The 48th annual Heart Ball allows patrons to celebrate life and love while helping to preserve a heart and give a gift of life, in a fun, party atmosphere affair.
This year, patrons will get dressed in their "Sunday go to meeting best" and get down to the sounds of the Ed Brice Orchestra, the Soulful Groovers Band, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Dance Band and to selections from Gary Johnson at the deejay booth. The ball will be held in the Independence Ballroom at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort on Saturday, February 18, under the theme "Repairing a broken heart: What a gift".
Tickets are $250 per person, and each person's attendance will help to repair the heart of a child and give a gift of life. Cocktails are served at 7:15 p.m., dinner is at 8:30 p.m.
"The Heart Ball Committee is working arduously to ensure that this ball is better than any before," said public relations officer Ingrid Sears. "Last year the Heart Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary. At the start of the year 2012, we move forward with greater financial need and thus greater challenges, as we seek to help the Heart Foundation repair hearts. The Heart Ball Committee is working with a renewed determination to ensure that we maintain the legacy of the founder and also the foundation. Additionally, we wish to ensure that patrons are encouraged to attend future Heart Balls and continue to help to repair broken hearts".
The Heart Ball is one of two major fundraisers for the Heart Foundation. It is always held on the Saturday closest to Valentine's Day. Funds raised go towards assisting children to receive heart surgeries which aren't cheap, and which many parents cannot afford. One child's heart surgery can cost over $50,000.
Even though patrons attend the annual ball to have fun, they do so knowing that the cost of their ticket is helping to reduce the financial burden to parents who cannot afford the cost of the life-saving surgery for their children.
"At present there are 11 patients in need of heart surgeries," said Sears. "It is anticipated that more children will need heart care during the year, and many of their parents will not be able to afford it. The funds raised from this event, will help the Heart Foundation to repair the hearts of children."
One of the highlights of the ball is always the naming of the person that will be given The Lady Sassoon Golden Heart award, who will be selected from of pool of people nominated for their humanitarian and heart touching acts to improve the lives of others.
Additionally, fabulous prizes will be up for grabs on the evening via raffles, and auctioned items. Roundtrip tickets for on British Airways to London; roundtrip tickets for two on Air Canada; hotel accommodations in Canada; an emerald and diamond ring; spa treatments and dinners are among the most coveted prizes that will be given away on the night. There will also be paintings and prints from the likes of the late Chan Pratt, Clifford Fernander, Nettica Symonette, and many more artists.
But in the midst of all the glitz, glamour and fun, Sears says she wants patrons to remember and recognize the cause for the annual Heart Ball, which is to raise funds for the Heart Ball Committee, the fundraising arm of The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation. The foundation's main goal is to assist primarily children, with heart care. Additionally, the foundation in conjunction with the Bahamas Heart Association aims to proactively educate and inform people residing in The Bahamas about heart care and how to lead heart healthy lifestyles.
The Heart Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1961 by Lady Evelyn Sassoon to assist people in need of heart care. The foundation runs primarily on a volunteer basis and relies heavily upon the generosity of others. Over 97 percent of the funds received go directly to heart care. The remaining three percent or less goes to unavoidable administrative costs.
The Heart Foundation gives support and understanding to parents and families for heart care, whether in hospitals in The Bahamas or in Florida. Since its inception, the Heart Foundation has helped over 4,000 patients to obtain heart care. Despite the Heart Foundation's best efforts and the increase in number of local cardiologist, technology and equipment, there is still a need to raise funds to assist children of The Bahamas receive heart care locally and at hospitals abroad.
For information on ticket purchases or donations please contact The Heart Foundation at telephone number 327-0806.

REPAIR A BROKEN HEART
What: 48th Annual Heart Ball
When: Saturday, February 18
Where: Independence Ballroom at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort
Time: Cocktails 7:15 p.m., dinner 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: $250 per person

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News Article
Help to save a life

Cardiovascular disease, commonly referred to as heart disease, is the number one killer of people in The Bahamas and around the world. As heart month came to a close, the fight against it still continued because more people die from heart disease than from any other cause. Heart disease does not discriminate. It affects people who are rich and poor, young and old. It does not prejudice based on race, religion, educational attainment or ethnicity. It affects everyone. Oftentimes, people are not sensitized to illnesses unless the illness affects them or their immediate family.
While there are many preventative measures to be taken by adults, such as exercise, eating right, not smoking, lowering cholesterol and taking medications correctly, in the case of babies and children, they rely on others for care and treatment against heart disease. And heart care is not cheap in cases where heart disease is discovered, regardless of age. Heart care can cost up to $1 million. What is even more unfortunate, is that many children when born, may not be privileged to have medical insurance or parents who can afford heart care. As such, when their parents discover that their new born babies have congenital heart disease, they are in a state of emotional and financial frustration, and fear. One such family currently facing such a challenge is that of Rah'nae De'ajah Burrows.
In October 2011, Antoine and Jessica Burrows welcomed their daughter into their family. Tests were carried out to ensure that she was healthy. It was discovered that Rah'nae had characteristics of Down syndrome - news that is not often readily accepted by many new parents - but the couple loved their baby nonetheless and saw her as a special gift from God.
Because of the existence of those characteristics, concerns arose to the possibility that Rah'nae may also have heart disease. After a week in the hospital it was discovered by an echocardiogram that she had a large atrial septal defect (ASD), which was a hole in her heart. The parents were referred to Dr. Jerome Lightbourne at the Pediatric Heart Clinic, at Princess Margaret Hospital. Additionally, genetic testing was done and the tests confirmed that she had Down syndrome.
Consequently, the parents were told to take Rah'nae to the Neurodevelopment Center for therapy, the Neurology clinic, and the Neonatology clinic. The entire process was emotionally and mentally taxing and challenging for the new parents.
With therapy over the past year, Rah'nae's health has been great and the family has seen progress, but Rah'nae is having problems with weight gain because of the heart condition and needs heart surgery desperately.
The Burrows' cannot afford the cost of heart surgery for their baby girl which could run them around $55,000 - and their daughter does not have insurance. Jessica is a school teacher and her husband, a transport operator.
Sadly, this family, like many, is only trying to survive in tough economic times and ensure that there is food, clothing and shelter for the family. As such, they need help to save their baby.
Dr. Lightbourne referred the Burrows' to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation for possible assistance with Rah'nae's surgery. The heart foundation seeks to provide heart care assistance to people, particularly children, who can not ordinarily afford heart care. The nonprofit entity relies heavily upon the generosity of others to help repair the hearts of children. Today, Rah'nae is on a wait list among 11 patients awaiting heart surgery.These patients and their families are prayerful and hopeful that the public will heed the appeals made and make a donation to the heart foundation to help save their lives. Sadly, without such surgeries, patients like Rah'nae, may not live full productive lives and can possibly die.
"The cost of heart surgery is very costly and it does not come with color, face or creed. We don't know when it will affect our loved ones; so I am asking that you please make a donation to the heart foundation to help those who are in need at this time," said Rah'nae's mother. "The heart foundation has been so generous over the years by helping to assist parents with the funds for surgery, and at this time there are 11 children waiting for assistance to have surgery. We need everyone's help at this time, even if it's only one dollar. It counts and can go a long way. By doing this you are donating to a worthy cause - you are saving lives and mending broken hearts," she said.
Burrows thanked the people that have supported her to date in raising funds so that her daughter could receive heart surgery.
To join the fight against heart disease and help children like Rah'nae, the public is encouraged to make a donation to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation. No amount is ever too small. Donations are encouraged year round. General donations, tributes, memorial donations and trusts are encouraged. Additionally, Americans can make tax deductible donations to aid the fight against heart disease. Sponsorship and hosting of fundraising events are also encouraged. The public is encouraged to support the two major fundraisers of The Heart Ball Committee - the Annual Heart Ball and The Annual Tea Party and Fashion Show. The public can also join the Bahamas Heart Association. The proceeds from the membership dues are used in the fight against heart disease.
While you may have missed the Heart Ball for 2012, you can still make a difference in a child's life today, said ball committee public relations officer, Ingrid Sears.
"It's more about the cause of helping to repair a heart than anything else. At present there are 11 plus children awaiting surgery. As the year progresses it is expected that more children will join this list, so the public's assistance is needed and encouraged in this fight against heart disease in children," she said.
To join the fight against heart disease in children and to help save a life, telephone 327-0806/10. You can also send a check to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation, P.O. Box N-8189, Nassau, The Bahamas, or telephone 327-0806 for deposit instructions.
You can learn more about the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation by visiting www.sassoonheartfoundation.org.

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News Article
Guardian top stories - Wed Mar 17
Guardian top stories - Wed Mar 17

Death sentences for two convicts

NIB staff members walk off the job

Anxiety still high among CLICO policyholders

Man charged with killing love rival

Bahamas students win Caribbean law challenge

Paul Moss resigns from PLP

Baha Mar deal with Chinese partners nears

Grant responds to Hanna-Martin on road safety

Trial of Melvin Maycock Sr. postponed

Relief funds forwarded to Haiti

Police up focus on visitor safety

Pastors Forum donates $3,000 to aid Haiti

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News Article
Kendal Nottage's role in sports ministry era

Back in 1977, the late 'Father of the Nation', Sir Lynden Pindling put in place the Ministry of Sports. He combined sports with youth and community affairs, and anointed Kendal Nottage as the minister.
It was a historic appointment and he chose the right individual. Nottage was not a popular politician at the time, largely due to the backlash he created for the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) because of the disenchantment with him of the Grand Bahamian voters.
Nottage lost the High Rock seat to Maurice Moore during the 1977 general election and in a sense, his political career was salvaged by his good friend Sir Lynden, with a senate appointment and the high profiling of sports into a "ministry" category for the very first time. His stint as the first sports minister would ultimately serve to bring a good balance to the political negatives that have plagued him.
Nottage was colorful and eager to make the new sports-flavored ministry a meaningful one. He emphasized the sports power image by often proclaiming the national program "Numero Uno". In the big world picture, the proclamation was a stretch but it excited the sporting family in the country like never before. Immediately, instead of the Bahamian sports picture being marginalized as per usual, the Nottage influence enabled sports to take its rightful place in the social standing of the country.
He had a lot to do with the Bahamian people embracing the CARIFTA Games. Nottage provided high-level platforms for school sports, collegiate sports, regional sports and international sports. This was a time when the civil servants operated by convention. Although, it was always understood that permanent
secretaries were the top individuals of authority in government ministries, the era was such that they worked closely with ministers and found a way to be always on the same page with them.
So it was that Charles "Cap" Smith as the permanent secretary and James Moultrie as the undersecretary worked diligently with Nottage. They helped to form the nucleus that cemented the status of the sports ministry, never to be dropped as community affairs has been from time to time. Nottage was perfect for the role. His natural proactive attitude was good for sports and youth development. His contribution to bringing sports to the forefront of society on a regular basis was immense.
There is still much that needs to be done for sports in this country. I have often lamented in this space the unreasonable approach of politicians. They refuse to elevate sports to the top group of budget allocations. Yet, if not for the quality role played by Nottage as that first minister, the view here is that the national sports program would be much further behind.
Nottage, although, he quickly built up a respectable reputation as sports minister, was at the same time making inroads for the national youth program. I believe that it was the "Youth In Business" month he orchestrated in the early 1980s that evolved into the "October Youth Month" annually.
From a community affairs perspective, Nottage ushered in the care services to senior citizens and young boys and girls at the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged, the Princess Margaret Hospital, Sandilands Rehabilitation Center and the Ranfurly Home for Children. Without a doubt, Nottage played a vital role in the development process of this nation.
His work as the first sports minister legitimized that ministry. Indeed, the national sports program today is much better off because of one Kendal W. Nottage.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at fredericksturrup@gmail.com.

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News Article
A hop in the right direction

Guardian Business: Can you briefly describe your experience in the tourism sector? What is your role is today?

Gricelle: I have held the position of sales and marketing manager at Señor Frog's Nassau since early 2009. In this role, I have worked closely with various tourism affiliates including hotels, cruise lines and travel agencies in an effort to integrate our property with some of the other wonderful amenities The Bahamas has to offer. At Señor Frog's, we pride ourselves in being ambassadors to the country, and do our best to actively orientate our thousands of guests with the island, as we are in many cases one of their first stops upon leaving the docks.

GB: Why did you choose to work in tourism as a career?

Gricelle: As a foreign-born Bahamian resident, I have had a tremendous appreciation for this country since I first set foot here as a tourist back in the early 2000s. The beauty of the land, along with its wonderful culture and friendly people, inspired me to settle here and direct my energies toward sharing it with others.

GB: What has been your most memorable moment?

Gricelle: My most memorable moments to date draw from the opportunities I have been afforded to participate in local community services and charity events. I particularly enjoyed those involving kids. It is always lovely to see the faces of those children when they receive a Christmas gift or a new bed, or simply a visit to chat and play.

GB: Has the industry changed since you started your career? How?

Gricelle: The hospitality and tourism industry has changed quite a bit. It used to be that showcasing our heritage, the beauty of our land and our iconic sites were enough. However, for today's visitor, it is about making The Bahamas an unforgettable experience. Through cross-marketing and an understanding of our guests expectations, we can create a unique potpourri of experiences that will leave our guests hoping for more.

GB: What should The Bahamas focus on to stay competitive?

Gricelle: The Bahamas should focus on developing more on-shore activities directed at the tourist market, while keeping current attractions up to speed with the changing demands of our visitors. We must also be mindful of the changing demographics of our tourists and train our future hosts and ambassadors accordingly.

GB: What advice would you give to a young person who is considering a career in tourism?

Gricelle: I would undoubtedly say that is a wonderful career with exciting opportunities! The key focus should always be service, making sure every person you cross paths with leaves with special memories. We should always remember that first and foremost we are in the hospitality business and our main goal is the happiness of our guest.

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Event
Christmas Capers
Christmas Capers

Friday 21st December 2012  9:00 AM

Christmas Capers Mini Day Camps 2012 December, 20th and 21st Ages 5-12 9.00am Ė 12.00pm Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. Through educational books & DVDís, Kitty Cuddles, Puppy Baths, Dog Walks, Pony Grooming and interaction with the Bahamas Humane Society Adoption Animals and Staff Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Daily $30 2 Day Mini Camp $55 *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkey,ponies, goats and rabbits love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread.


News Article
Youth in Puerto Rico to gain from technology access and training
Youth in Puerto Rico to gain from technology access and training

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Microsoft has donated US$60,000 to the Trust for the Americas, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS), to establish its program, Partnership in Opportunities for Employment through Technology in the Americas (POETA), in Puerto Rico to engage youth from low income communities in jobs and provide them with skills that will allow them to have a better life.

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News Article
A civic-minded student who sees the bigger picture

A smile -- a facial expression formed by flexing the muscles near both ends of the mouth. It is an expression that denotes pleasure, joy or happiness. A smile is understood by everyone despite culture, race or religion. It is internationally known. But for some people, that expression that for many is so simple, can be a source of great embarrassment because of a facial deformity known as a cleft lip or cleft palate.
The gift of a smile may not be something that can be put in a box, wrapped with pretty paper and tied with a bow, but it is something that Operation Smile, an international medical charity has provided to more than 200,000 children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities around the world. And it's this organization that 16-year-old Natalie Hernandez is a member of.
The Year 12 student of St. Andrew's School, a volunteer student educator for Operation Smile, recently traveled with the medical mission organization to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as part of a 48-member volunteer team that performed 81 life-changing smile surgeries, free-of-charge on underprivileged children with cleft lips and palates.
Natalie did not actually perform surgery, but she went into schools where she taught local children about basic health and hygiene such as handwashing, dental hygiene and burn care and prevention. Prior to leaving for Cambodia, she also spent months collecting donations to take to Cambodia. She took over 200 stuffed animals and toothbrushes as well as more than $600 that she raised with her school peers.
"The trip was absolutely amazing," said Hernandez. "It was a life-changing experience. It was so great to see the kids learning and it made me happy to know I was making a difference in their lives in this small way. It also taught me that a mother's love is universal and that a baby born with cleft impacts the whole family. A mom, regardless of where she lives in the world, or her social class, will do whatever she can for her child. "They scrapped together whatever money they could, to ensure that their child could have a chance at a better future."
Natalie witnessed people arriving on mules and buses, who traveled from hours away to take advantage of the free surgeries.
"The trip also helped me to put everything in perspective and see the bigger picture. Life isn't about a particular bag, or going out on Saturday night, as many high school students think. It's about helping others. We have been blessed with so many things -- an education, a house, and food. It's our responsibility to give back and help those who aren't as fortunate," she said.
Persons as young as six months up to age 65 showed up to have surgeries on their cleft lip and palate. Over 20,000 Cambodians suffer from the deformity in a population of 14.8 million. Every year about 600 more babies are born with a facial deformity.
Being a part of this legendary organization may not seem like all that big of a deal to many people but Natalie said it was important to her. She thinks of the many children who go through life with low self-esteem, health issues or those who even die because of complications with their cleft palate or lip and said she couldn't help but want to be a part of improving the quality of their lives.
Now in her third year volunteering with Operation Smile, Natalie was finally able to go into the operating rooms as an observer. It made her appreciate the before and after even more
"It's fulfilling to know I helped out in a bigger way this time around," she said.
In preparation for the mission, Natalie underwent two weeks of training in Beijing, China, last summer to be a student educator on health and hygiene.
While the high school senior is proud of the work she did in Cambodia, she believes it is just as important to encourage her peers to be civic-minded.
"People who can eat three meals daily, have a roof over their heads and access to an education should be grateful for all they have and be able to be compassionate enough to share their wealth -- be it time or money to help the less fortunate," she said.
If more young people learned to care about other people, and get involved in charitable organizations, she said, they could learn to be less selfish and see life in the perspective it should be viewed in.
"Being a part of organizations like [Operation Smile] or going on a trip where you physically assist in changing lives makes things like not getting the perfect present, or grades, or being the perfect size or being allowed to go to a party seem insignificant. Things young people consider to be the end of the world no longer compare when you see the big picture. I am glad I am a part of Operation Smile because it has done me good and I hope for other young people to find something they can relate to in charitable services and get on board. It's our duty to give back because most of us are so fortunate," she said.
In hopes of inspiring other students to do more, Natalie founded a Project Smile club at her school. It currently has 10 members. They have done a number of bake sales from which the proceeds benefit the needy. They have also visited children's homes to lend a hand.
It is also important for the young charity worker to be well-rounded which is why she is also president of her school's chess club and vice president of Model United Nations (MUN) club. She also keeps on top of her studies and has a 3.90 grade point average which is just a slight drop from the 4.00 GPA she maintained for most of her high school years prior to transferring to The Bahamas.
Natalie lived in Honduras for two years before moving to The Bahamas. It was while there that she became involved with Operation Smile. She translated for English-speaking doctors. She was able to help doctors and families communicate about procedures and follow-up care.
"After seeing the amazing results they had, I wanted to become more involved. I am so lucky to have gone on this trip, and thank everyone who made it possible," she said.
Natalie believes her involvement as a local translator on four previous Operation Smile mission trips in the South American country played a role in her getting accepted to participate in the latest mission. But no matter the reason, she said the experience was truly life-changing.
"I was so excited, really happy and proud to get accepted to go on a mission trip with Operation Smile. I always wanted to make a difference in the world and this was a great first step. I think I was chosen because I was president for two years of a group called Jovennes En Accion (Youth in Action) in Honduras, which was a social service group that brought kids from different social classes to volunteer at orphanages and retirement homes."
Out of the hundreds that apply for Operation Smile medical missions, only 30 high school students are accepted.
The St. Andrew's School senior has numerous ambitions which include following in her mother, Sally Sternal's footsteps and working with U.S. embassy especially since she enjoys seeing different parts of the world. Her other option has her becoming a plastic surgeon. She was inspired in the second career choice through her exposure to Operation Smile.
No matter where life's road takes this community-minded young lady she said she would always have a passion for community work and will make creating a better world a priority in her life.
Operation Smile is a non-profit organization that goes around the world to give free cleft palate and cleft lip surgeries to unpriveleged children around. It was founded in 1982 by Kathy and Bill Magee who went to the Phillipines on a medical mission and saw so many underprivileged children and adults afflicted with cleft lip an/or palate. They were moved to organize something significant that would benefit these individuals. The couple knew they had to do something more than just one non-profit mission trip and as a result Project Smile was created. It has brought together thousands of medical professionals and volunteers for hundreds of trips to many areas around the world to perform life-changing surgeries. Since its establishment more than 140,000 children worldwide have been treated.
A cleft occurs when the body's natural structures fail to fuse. This forms before birth. According to statistics, one in 700 children worldwide are born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. An older term is harelip, based on the similarity to the cleft in the lip of a hare. A cleft lip or palate can be successfully treated with surgery, especially if conducted soon after birth or in early childhood.
If the cleft does not affect the palate structure of the mouth, it is referred to as cleft lip. It is formed in the top of the lip as either a small gap or an indentation in the lip (partial or incomplete cleft) or if it continues into the nose (complete cleft). Lip cleft can occur as a one-sided (unilateral) or two-sided (bilateral). It is due to the failure of fusion of the maxillary and medial nasal process.
Cleft palate is a condition in which the two plates of the skull that form the hard palate (roof of the mouth) are not completely joined. The soft palate in these cases cleft as well. In most cases, cleft lip is also present.

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Event
BHS Animal Fun Day
BHS Animal Fun Day

Sunday 21st April 2013  6:00 PM

Sunday, February 21st is the BHS Animal Fun Day, to be held once again at the Botanical Gardens. This enjoyable day out is perfect for both children and animals and great for the entire family. Bring your dog, bring your loved ones and join us for an afternoon of family fun. Gates open at noon and the festivities continue till 6 p.m. Enter your dog in the dog/owner lookalike contest, find out who has the waggiest tail, and have your photo taken at the Kissing Booth. There will be food, booths, and games. If you're able to volunteer for the day, please contact Laura Kimble @ (kimblelaura@gmail.com). Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas
Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas

Friday 15th March 2013  10:00 AM

SOFT TOUCH PRODUCTIONS Presents Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas Dates- March 15th Day showing-10am Evening showing-8pm March 16th Evening showing-8pm Tickets depots: Seventeen shop, Collins avenue Original Swiss shop, Cable beach Carey's Deparment store, Mackey st Conliffe Bakery, Carmichael Rd Ticket Prices 5 and over-$15 2- 4years- $10 Free Under 2 years School Information School Matinees in Nassau will be held Monday Ė Thursday, 4th-8th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. School Matinees in Grand Bahama will be held Monday Ė Thursday,11th-15th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. Tickets are $10 for Pre-School $12 for Primary $15 for High School Students. We would like to confirm our offer to you of retaining for a school project, the following on each child who attends Pre-Schoolers $2, and Primary & High School students $3. Any participating school will retain 50% of all their ticket sales. Raffle Tickets are available now for distribution. The raffle will be drawn on Saturday, 27th April, 2013 and prizes are as follows:- Samsung Galaxy S2 4G Cell Phone 42Ē Flat Screen Television Blackberry Playbook Apple iPad II iPod Touch Xbox 360 Kinect Round-trip ticket for 2 on ďBahamas CelebrationsĒ from Freeport Round-trip ticket for 2 on ďThe BohengyĒ from Nassau Kindly advise at your earliest a day, date and time we can address your schoolís as BahamasCircus.com


News Article
Know your beneficiary pt.2

As part of its free education forum CONNECT, Colina Insurance Limited is helping consumers gain a comprehensive knowledge of how to manage their life insurance and related financial planning products. In its latest installment, CONNECT focused on the theme "Who's getting what you've got when you're gone?" aimed at providing important information on the life claims process, the legal considerations and the importance of choosing the right beneficiary. The key issues covered at that forum are being featured weekly in The Nassau Guardian. The following is the second in a two-part series that was taken from a presentation made by Janice Butler, manager, Central Processing Unit, Colina Insurance Ltd. on the subject, "Who is your beneficiary?"

The designation of a minor child as beneficiary is very common in the The Bahamas. There are many instances of parents designating their minor children on the application for insurance, only to encounter unforeseen problems after the insured person is deceased.
Prior to naming a minor child as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, it is important to understand the implications of this decision.
o Minors lack contractual capacity, and therefore insurance proceeds cannot be paid directly to them until attainment of the legal age of majority (18 in The Bahamas).
o Both parents could die simultaneously leaving the minor child exposed to improper care soon after you decease.
o If the surviving spouse is excluded as a named beneficiary, the surviving spouse's financial needs could go unmet resulting in financial hardship for your minor children soon after you decease.
o The courts without regard for the parent's wish may appoint a guardian.
When naming a minor beneficiary, the policy owner should always appoint a guardian as trustee or create a trust to receive and manage the insurance proceeds on behalf of the minor.
A policy owner can specify on the beneficiary form how proceeds are to be distributed.

The following are some
of the most common forms of instructions:
o A policy owner can specify by share percentage - i.e., 50 percent to my wife Mary Smith, 25 percent to my son Charles Smith and 25 percent to my daughter Ruth Smith.
o A policy owner can specify by equal shares - i.e., my wife Mary Smith, my son Charles Smith and my daughter Ruth Smith in equal shares.
o A policy owner can specify dollar amounts - i.e., $50,000 to my wife Mary Smith, $25,000 to my son Charles Smith and $25,000 to my daughter Ruth Smith.
o A policy owner can also include other special instructions - i.e., primary beneficiary John Doe (son) 50 percent if living, if not then his 50 percent to his eldest son. A third level of beneficiary can be used naming a third person in the event the primary and secondary beneficiary is deceased; or specify the deduction of burial expenses, or to pay out proceeds in installments at specified ages.
How often should I review my beneficiary designation?
Most people give considerable thought to who they will name as beneficiary at the time of application for insurance. The problem arises when, over time, those designations are no longer valid.
Your beneficiary designation should be reviewed periodically in order to protect your beneficiary(s) and ensure the policy proceeds go directly to whom you intended to receive them. You should review your beneficiary designation whenever your personal, financial or professional situation changes.

Can I assign my life insurance policy as collateral?
Yes. Assignment of a life insurance policy is a contractual right of a policy owner. An assignment is an agreement under which the policy owner (assignor) transfers all or some of its ownership rights in a life insurance policy to another party (assignee). The assignee usually requires the submission of the policy contract as proof of collateral. There are two types of assignments:
o Absolute: Assignment by which the policy owner (assignor) transfers all rights, title and financial interest in the policy to the assignee. The assignee then becomes the policy owner. For example, a person applying for a loan from a financial institution can assign a life insurance policy as collateral for the loan in the event the person dies prior to full repayment of the loan.
o Collateral: A temporary assignment of the monetary value of a life insurance policy, or security for a loan. The policy owner retains ownership rights to the policy but cannot surrender or take policy loans without the consent of the assignee. If the death proceeds become payable, the assignee is only entitled to the amount of indebtedness as a lump sum payment.
The assignment agreement is terminated when the policy owner (assignor) repays the amount owed to the assignee. And a release letter is then executed to confirm. The agreement is also terminated if/when the death proceed is paid.

What if I divorce and my ex-spouse is named beneficiary?
Under the Married Woman's Property Act, (and prior to the new Insurance Act coming into effect on July 2, 2009) any spouse named in an application for insurance is deemed irrevocable and has a vested interest in the life insurance policy. Therefore, a divorce, in itself, did not revoke the ex-spouse's interest.
This means that the ex-spouse must consent in writing by signing the change of beneficiary form in order for the policy owner to change his/her beneficiary. Only where the divorce settlement includes a provision of beneficiary revocation, the policy owner's rights to change the beneficiary will be restored.
Under the new Insurance Act dated July 2, 2009, a policy owner can request a change of beneficiary without obtaining the ex-spouse's signature, if the marriage ended in a divorce. So for policies issued subsequent to July 2, 2009, obtaining the consent of an ex-spouse for a change of beneficiary is a non-issue.

How do I change my beneficiary?
A policy owner may contact his or her insurance company and communicate the request for a change of beneficiary.
The change of beneficiary process is simple and straightforward for policies with revocable beneficiaries, as written consent is not required from a revocable beneficiary if a policy owner wishes to perform a change of beneficiary. A beneficiary change form provided by the insurance company is completed indicating the new beneficiary(s) signed by the policy owner and witnessed by the customer service representative.
This process can be more difficult, however, if your beneficiary is irrevocable, since a change of beneficiary cannot be executed unless the irrevocable beneficiary consents in writing by signing the change of beneficiary form.

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News Article
The Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation Ball Committee needs your help saving a life

It's the start of the New
Year, yet there are 11 children who are in urgent need of and are in-line
for heart surgery. If you are a parent, you know that no parent is happy
seeing their child ill. Heart disease has a great impact on families,
especially those with little children.  The presence of a serious
heart defect often results in an enormous emotional and financial strain
on young families at a very vulnerable time. A parent would do all they
can to get that child well; because when the child is not well, the
parent is not well. Sadly, as this is the start of the year, it is anticipated
that as the year progresses, many more children will need the public's
assistance with heart care.

 

One patient who benefited
and will benefit from the kindness and support of The Heart Foundation
is little Miss Grace Cooper.  At one week of age, Grace Cooper
was seen at Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport...

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News Article
There must be a mindset to stimulate

With more than 25 years of experience in the real estate field, Mario Carey has sold more than $1 billion worth of property around the world. He began his career in The Bahamas at Bahamas Realty where he enjoyed the position of top sales broker for 18 consecutive years. In May 2008, he founded Mario Carey Realty, a full-service luxury real estate company.

Guardian Business:
What is the biggest challenge facing your business or sector?

Mario: Global economic conditions remain grim, negatively impacting the real estate market and I do not mean just those people who work in the profession, but more importantly, the ability of people to become homeowners. Many governments recognize the importance of real estate to the overall economy, and in those countries, policies foster sales with range of tools that provide a more affordable means of doing business, provide affordable credit and lower the carrying cost of property ownership. Unfortunately, that is not the case in The Bahamas where there appears to be a lack of appreciation for just how vital the real estate market is to the country's overall economic well-being. This needs to change and I would humbly suggest that such change begin with resumption of long-absent meetings between decision-makers and those in the real estate industry. Once consultation has again resumed, we urgently need to look at policies favorable to stimulating the real estate market, moving away from tax increases that hamper residential development toward providing incentives to stimulate growth. Think about selling a furnished house and the taxes involved. Building materials have been taxed a duty, normally 38 percent, then all the furniture has been taxed say 38 percent, then the sale happens and the total price including the furniture is taxed again at the stamp duty rate. This equals double taxation. When market values are on a decline, an investor has little faith he would be able to make a profit due to such high taxation. The developers of a subdivision then get hit with the cost to build a home being stamp duty-charged. With so much uncertainty in the cost to build and other unknowns, developers are understandably reluctant to build spec homes. There has to be a mindset to stimulate and create activity.

GB: Can you describe a life experience that changed how you approach work today?

Mario: For 18 years, I was with another firm as a director/broker. In 2008, I opened MCR and began wearing a number of hats - owner, manager, marketer - while continuing to handle sales at a high professional level and demonstrating leadership with others in the office, wanting them to follow the lead of working smart, being determined and showing initiative. I also wanted to make a positive difference in people's lives. My team knew I was new in the role of leadership. They allowed me to make mistakes. Yet they know I have a high standard of ethics and I'm determined to make a positive contribution to their lives and to the community. My initial thought in 2008 was to be a small, one-man type office and focus on a very specific segment of the market. This lasted for about a month, as I felt a calling to teach, to be challenged and do things I had never done before.

GB: What makes a great boss? What makes a bad boss?

Mario: Until you have been in the position, you do not realize how demanding the role of being a boss is. My approach calls for open discussion and to encourage others to strive for excellence. We focus on goals and the processes to achieve those goals. I get excited by new ideas, and I want the team to feel that same excitement. I want them to share the feeling that there are no limits on ability so long as you stay true to your principles and are not afraid of change. I think providing a safe and professional environment for my team to excel in is critical. I think bad bosses are more interested in titles and power and have a need for their egos to be fulfilled. We are in a very competitive business. There are some 650 registered BREA agents. The important thing is to work as a team. At MCR, we cover each other's backs. We are team-oriented, civic-minded and we have fun at what we do. That's the atmosphere I want to preserve. If I am able to achieve this, then I'm a successful boss.

GB: If you could change one thing concerning business in The Bahamas, what would it be?

Mario: In my case it would be lowering the cost of doing business in the real estate sector across the board, knowing the positive economic domino effect of each transaction and how much of a positive impact it makes on our country. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), every time a home sells three full time jobs are created. This statistic alone speaks volumes of why the Bahamas needs more sales. Unemployment is on an alarming rise, home foreclosures are increasing and there are no known current adjustments to bank or government policies that address this problem. The economic gap between the haves and the have-nots has recently been shown to be widening. Most of these woes can be aided by more residential sales. More sales would also lead more Bahamians of talent to consider real estate as a career and I welcome new, talented people. Another report by NAR shows only three percent of its members hold a bachelor's degree in real estate. Yet there is so much opportunity for diversified careers beyond selling. The list of jobs includes appraisals, home inspectors, commercial developers, property managers, time share development. I have been attending high school career workshops encouraging students to look at real estate as a possible major.

GB: What keeps you grounded?

Mario: Good salespeople tend to be high income earners because of the risk of working a commission-based job versus a salaried position - the higher the risk, the more reward. With this comes a lot of stress. To offset this, I'm very much into my health and charity work, primarily the autism organization R.E.A.C.H., of which I serve as president. Having a son who's autistic helps you keep life in perspective. You learn that small things really do count. Through my sport, which is triathlons, I'm always representing R.E.A.C.H., speaking about autism or raising funds and awareness. My other interest is spear fishing which is my ultimate passion. I have so many stories of survival, being attacked by sharks and barracudas, having boats sink in shark-infested waters and seeing death, being adrift at sea waiting to be rescued, yet it's what I love to do. Yoga and meditation also help with the day-to-day stress. Diet is such a big part of one's overall health. Currently I'm exploring the vegan diet and having special meals prepared for me. The interest is to lose weight, minimize medical needs and be around later in life to enjoy my grandchildren.

GB: How would you describe the ease of doing business in The Bahamas?

Mario: Doing business in The Bahamas can be both easy and challenging. The process of setting up a limited company and getting a business license is pretty straightforward. However, the process of securing a business loan or settling a matter in the courts can be a huge challenge. Better access to credit would advance entrepreneurship but it's also important for those wanting to go into business for themselves to understand the need for a proper business plan. I am concerned about current trends, that poverty is increasing, the middle class is shrinking and the very wealthy are accruing even more wealth. Any country with this model of social and economic imbalance sets itself up for instability and class tension. This is a cause for concern, but there are remedies if only we recognize that change is needed and opening up the avenues for business will pave the way to a better future for the country as a whole.

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Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Monday 24th June 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVDís and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


News Article
Holocaust survivor shares story of hope with Bahamians

Holocaust survivor Rena Finder shared her powerful story of pain and hope with hundreds of Bahamians on Thursday night.
"Life was hell," Finder told the crowd.
Finder was speaking of her experiences in Nazi occupied Poland during World War II. She was only 10 when her hometown of Kracow was invaded.
Finder is one of the last Holocaust survivors who was employed by German industrialist Oskar Schindler.
Schindler saved nearly 1,200 Jews from the clutches of Nazi concentration camps by employing as many Jews as he could in his factory.
His story was turned into a book, "Schindler's Ark", and then into a movie in 1993, titled "Schindler's List".
Finder spoke after a public screening of "Schindler's List" at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort.
She moved to the Untied States and since the 1970s she has spread her message of hope across the world.
"He treated us like humans," Finder said.
"It was like being liberated, like being put in the hands of an angel. We knew from the very beginning that Oskar Schindler would take care of us."
She continued, "Oskar Schindler gave us life, gave me a chance to grow up, to get married to have children, grandchildren and a great-grandchild."
Finder's story attracted many Bahamians, including College of The Bahamas (COB) professors Dr. Nicolette Bethel and Jessica Minnis to name a few.
Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes also gave remarks.
"It is important that we are educated about the Holocaust and that we are never allowed to forget," he said.
Sir Arthur added that it is important also that humankind never forget all the other atrocities and genocides that have taken place.
Finder said it is important to her and for those who survived the Holocaust how much difference young people can make.
"The worst crime is indifference," she said. "The worst crime is to be a bystander."
Sponsors of the event included Aetos Holdings Ltd, Atlantis, Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild Ltd., Bank of The Bahamas (BOB), Colina Insurance, Diane Phillips and Associates (DP&A) and ICD Utilities.

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News Article
A reflection on political retirement

The early months of 2012 have been dominated by the general election. It will be the eighth general election in an independent Bahamas. Of the seven we have had, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) won four and the Free National Movement (FNM) won three.
But before a single vote is cast this time around, we will say goodbye to some long-serving politicians. After the votes are counted we will say goodbye to even more of them.
For those who lose the nomination fights to come, and to those who lose the various constituency elections, a graceful exit would be a better conclusion to a long career than whining, complaining and hostility.
No one should assume that there is a career in politics. What should happen is men and women with talents and successes should offer themselves for public service for a period. The people then select the best of the best and those individuals should do their best to improve the community they serve.
No elected official should want to serve a lifetime in politics. In fact, for talented and successful people there should be an urge to go back to the private sector or to private life. So when that time comes, through the loss of an election or nomination fight, exhaustion or whatever other reason, saying goodbye should not be hard.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham seems to agree with this perspective. He summed it up well in the last sitting of the House of Assembly for 2011 on December 13.
"My hope is that those who seek public office will consider it a duty and responsibility to serve and not to gain a personal advantage," said Ingraham.
"Conversely, individuals should come to accept that not being elected to Parliament will not be a disadvantage.
"They can expect to be treated fairly whether in or out of office. It is very important for a democracy to have as its underpinning that if you get elected and you are unelected that you can live in a society as any ordinary person.
"You can live [by] rules that are clearly established, that you can be employed, that your children can have access to whatever availabilities to society, and that no one will be out to get you because you have served in politics.
"And it is my hope that we will move along those lines in a more evident way.
"If we don't evolve to that level, we will continue to produce governments with members who will fight tooth and nail to be in government because they fear being out of government.
"And you should never fear being out or in. You ought to do the best you can while you are in and when you are out, you ought to feel like you can live a normal life and be bound by the same rules you put in place while you are in."
Being able to depart graciously also sets a good example for future generations. It demonstrates that power is something to be shared. Countries that are at war or in a constant state of upheaval are in such states because powerful factions cannot share power.
The political system is also renewed when new minds enter. Those who were born during the World War II years, and who were raised during the Cold War years, should now be seeking to leave politics, handing power over to those who came of age during the Internet years.
So for those who will be sent home from the political scene in 2012, be not afraid or saddened. You were never supposed to be there forever.

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Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Thursday 27th June 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVDís and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Friday 28th June 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVDís and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Monday 1st July 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVDís and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Tuesday 2nd July 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVDís and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Wednesday 3rd July 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVDís and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Thursday 4th July 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVDís and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Friday 5th July 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVDís and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Monday 8th July 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVDís and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.