Mental Health Foundation gets kitchen equipment from Gems


CAY HILL, Sint Maarten –-Cooking is a basic skill of survival and a skill to be proud of; building on those elements, Island Gems Charity Foundation presented the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) with kitchen utensils and small appliance to help further outfit its centre’s kitchen in Cay Hill.

MHF, established in 2006, leads as the secondary mental healthcare provider on St. Maarten. It has seven care products: clinic care, crisis management, psychiatric home healthcare, Faraja Centre and guided living facility, admission ward and information and prevention. A team of administrators work diligently for the much-needed mental health concerns of the community.

Several Island Gems members attended one of the centre’s open-house days and learnt about the centre’s need for kitchen items.

MHF officials outlined the needs of the kitchen staff and of the desire of some MHF clients to learn to cook.   Island Gems bought bread baskets, dishes, pots, pans and other items. Island Gems does not give cash so items or equipment requested by a group or foundation are purchased by the organization. If a service is required, the service is paid for directly to the service provider by Island Gems.

The all-women foundation was elated to assist the healthcare foundation, especially with a project that will have long term effects on its clients when they are taught the skills and joys of cooking.

Island Gems President Alita Singh, Vice President Karine Fleming, Treasurer Kerisha James, Board Member Jody Rosen and member Asha Steven recently visited MHF’s kitchen to see the operations. They were very impressed with the set up and commended the management and staff on their efforts to help those in the community who are differently abled.

“All of us, whether abled or differently abled, need skills to be proud of. Cooking is a skill and talent we can use to bring our families and friends together. Togetherness is often the best therapy for a busy world,” said Island Gems President Alita Singh.

Food is essential to Island Gems as it is from an annual grand buffet dinner that the foundation raises the money it uses throughout the year to aid foundations with projects on both sides of the island.   This year’s dinner is on Saturday, March 28, at Captain Oliver’s restaurant in Oyster Bay. The dinner’s theme is “Caribbean Creole” – a celebration of Island Gems strong St. Maarten ties.

A silent auction at the dinner helps to raise additional funds for community projects. Highlights are the annual “Private Chef Dinner for Eight” from St. Maarten’s Iron Chef Dino Jagtiani of Temptation restaurant, and a personalized portrait by Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau artist Roland Richardson.

A line-up of St. Maarten’s best entertainers and talents will keep the evening lively and fun. Performers include The York Generations on steelpans, Lomeno “DJ Fun Ten” Brison, Arias, Othmar’s Gems Dancers and Master of Ceremonies Leroy “King Beau Beau” Brooks.

Very limited tickets are available for the gala dinner. Tickets cost US $125 each and are available from Island Gems members.