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Aug 4, 2008

Rotary Club to host “Me and Mi Genie”

Story PictureIf you missed drama at the Bliss, then get ready for a magical Caribbean style play to be performed at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts this weekend. Jamaican Playwright Patrick Brown has written the play “Me and Mi Genie” and has provided it free of cost to the Rotary Club for its Gift of Life Program for performances this weekend. Creolized by local actresses and actors, it is a fun play to raise funds to support a program for surgeries to those in need. Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
Many youths, unemployed or still in school, face life or death situations and find themselves needing surgeries that could cost as much as the price of a new house. And that is where the Gift of Life steps in. Yvette Burks, the programme’s coordinator says that they are able to do it with the help of generous partners in the U.S. and Belize.

Yvette Burks, Coordinator, Gift of Life
“It is minors under the age of twenty-one. In the case of Belize, specifically run clinics twice a year, exactly six months apart and we see children from throughout the country. We are very blessed. We partner with two locations who provide paediatric cardiologists to come to Belize and of course, the paediatric cardiac surgeon is there who perform the free surgery and we send to at least eight or nine different locations during a given year. We will find the location once t he doctors do the clinics they will tell us who needs surgery, how soon they need surgery, all the rest of that. We will set up the surgery, get the tickets, taxis, all of that, pay for it, send the children to the location and our partners there are going to take care of the patient’s surgery for free. The cheapest procedure we do will run around forty or more thousand or so U.S. dollars.”

One way in which the programme raises money for costs is by hosting plays. And this weekend Rotary and the Gift of Life will present “Me and Mi Genie” to the public.

Jamie Thompson, Artistic Director, Me an Mi Genie
““Me and Mi Genie” is, once again, a comedy, singing, dancing, a whole ton load of fun for the public to come out and see. The basic story is that we have this bunch of slaves on this plantation and they are thriving to get free from the slavery and one of the main characters come across a genie and decides that he is going to use these three wishes to do what he wants and the other slaves wanted him to use one of the wishes to free the plantation. So, not to give away too much, you have to come out and see the rest, but that’s basically the idea; the slaves find the genie and try to work through that to get the genie to wish them to freedom.”

The play is vital to sustain the Gift of Life program, especially in an age where cost skyrockets.

Yvette Burks
“Exceedingly important because as the cost of fuel and all that goes up, of course we are getting quite a significant increase in airfare. So we need to pay all of that. There are some patients who can’t afford anything. So it gets more expensive every year and the least children we seem to send per year anymore is a dozen. And a few years we did seventeen or more.”

Jamie Thompson
“We are having the show to support a purpose greater than all of us. It is to help the Gift of Life Program which, from previous experience, I knew that they do extensive work with kids and open heart surgeries. And I think we need to find that humanitarian in all of us to come out and support this worthy cause.”

Jose Sanchez
“So coming out to watch the play means you will do good and have fun at the same time?”

Yvette Burks
“Absolutely, you will get t come—it is a family affair—relax, laugh, enjoy yourself and know that your money is actually going to a terrific cause. It’s actually saving lives and you know we never whose it’s going to be next.’

The next gift of life could be given to you. So support the play. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez

The play takes place from the eighth to the tenth of August at the Bliss. The prices range from fifty dollars for premium seats, twenty-five for reserve, and fifteen for general admission.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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