ARCHIVED - Dave Barber Coffee Barge Raises Funds for Sick Kids During Op ARTEMIS

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HMCS Regina - OP ARTEMIS / March 9, 2014

By Lt(N) Mark Fifield, Op ARTEMIS Roto 4 PAO

Gourmet hot coffee, delicious baked goods and great live entertainment provided a memorable night in HMCS Regina’s Master Seaman and Below Mess, affectionately called the Bushwakker’s Club, during Operation ARTEMIS off the coast of Africa on March 9, 2014. The event, known as the Dave Barber Coffee Barge, is just one of many fundraising initiatives which support the Dave Barber Charitable Foundation, which is one of the official ship charities on board HMCS Regina.

Master Seaman Dave Barber passed away from leukemia in 1999 and in the years since then, the ship’s company has held a series of events every year in his memory to raise charitable funds for the Child Life Department at the Victoria General Hospital. In addition to the Coffee Barge, the Dave Barber Charitable Foundation have organized pizza nights, BBQ’s, fishing derbies, sports days and a memorial golf tournament at Metchosin Golf Course to raise funds for sick kids.

The funds are used to purchase a great variety of items needed on the pediatric wards, pediatric surgical daycare unit, emergency department as well as the outpatient clinic areas such as the diabetes and oncology units. The items range from toys, crafts, stuffed animals, books, games, as well as various electronic items such as DVD’s, DVD players, portable game systems and music players, and televisions.

The smaller items are often given to sick children who are enduring a lengthy hospital stay, experiencing difficult treatments and/or procedures, or celebrating a special occasion such as a birthday or the end of a long treatment protocol for an acute illness or medical condition. The electronic items are used exclusively in the various pediatric areas which bring entertainment and a welcome distraction to children and adolescents who are admitted to the hospital for a day’s treatment or a lengthy hospital stay ranging from days to months.

“It is a great feeling to see the smiles of all those kids who have benefitted from our fundraising efforts and to know that we have made their lives just a little bit better during their stay in the hospital,” said Petty Officer First Class Tracy Tkachuk. “The Dave Barber Charitable Foundation is very near and dear to the hearts of the ship’s company and we look forward every year to participating in these fundraising events that are held in Dave’s memory.”