Lobsterfest Raises Money for New Moms, Babies in Haiti

WATERLOO REGION, May 22, 2015: Funds raised at this year’s Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club Lobsterfest will help save lives at a hospital in Haiti.

The Rotary event, marking its 44th anniversary, takes place June 5 at Bingemans in Kitchener. Doors open at 6 p.m. The $85 single-ticket price includes a $50 tax receipt.

nurse and baby

Ticket sales support a project to improve conditions for mothers and newborn babies at Centre Medical Beraca Hospital (CMB) in La Pointe, Haiti. The project involves St. Joseph’s Health System, the corporation that includes St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener.

“The degree of need is quite staggering,” said Peter Sweeney, President of International Outreach, St. Joseph Health System. “There is only one obstetrician on staff, and he delivers three to four babies a day. At least one of those is by C-section.”

CMB is the only 24-7 hospital serving 800,000 people in northwestern Haiti. The project has three main goals: provide additional training for doctors and nurses at CMB; build better maternity facilities (the current ward lacks running water) and create opportunities for hospital staff to hold pre- and post-natal clinics.

“St. Joseph’s has done an outstanding job under extremely difficult circumstances at CMB,” said Andrew Wilding, chair of the Lobsterfest event. “It’s no exaggeration to say that by reducing the risk of infection and raising the level of care, these improvements will save lives.”

Based in Hamilton, St. Joseph’s Health System has been sending care teams to Haiti since the early 1990s. It provided relief soon after an earthquake struck the island nation in January 2010.

Lobsterfest, the Rotary Dream Lottery and the Turkey Drive (supporting the House of Friendship’s Christmas hamper program) make up the main campaigns of the year for the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club. Combined, the three events raised about $500,000 in 2014 to support local charitable work and international aid.

For ticket information, visit www.lobsterfest.ca or call 519-743-2997.

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