By Brittany Llorente
JENSEN BEACH -- The tropical atmosphere, live music, food and fun can only mean that the Goombay Bash is back.
This year, the 12th annual celebration will take place at the Jensen Beach Causeway Park, Saturday, July 20.
While the event is known for its entertainment and festivities, the driving force behind the curtains are the LifeSavers.
The LifeSavers are volunteers in the community that help raise funds for Martin Health System, the funding directly benefiting children, birth through teenage years, and their families through support programs in and out of the hospital, services and technology.
Since 2002, the LifeSavers have touched the lives of those with their fundraising, the Goombay Bash being their signature event of the year.
"During our 10-year bash we hit the $850,000 mark of funds raised," said Kelly Rowell, development officer at Martin Health Foundation. "This year we hope to hit the $1 million mark. This has been a sold out event for the past four years and attracts about 600 to 800 people."
The funds from the event are used to support mothers and babies born at Martin Medical Center as well as pediatric care and rehabilitation. This includes the purchase of technology, equipment and services.
The 2011 funds were used to purchase pediatric cribs, take home swaddler sets and auto sunshades for mothers and newborn babies, speech language packages, gait trainers, sound chips, reading tests and neuromuscular stimulation for pediatric rehab at the hospital.
Funding also helps the mother-baby home visit program.
"This program is unique to Martin Health where nurses provide a home visit to new moms within the first week of the child going home, conducting a baby and mother check-up and scheduling a second visit," Ms. Rowell said. "The visit allows for the mother and baby to be in the comfort of their home and get advice."
The funding raised by the Martin Health Foundation provides immeasurable help to families and other patrons of the hospital.
"As a nonprofit health care system, equipment and services, unless founded through philanthropy, wouldn't be available," Ms. Rowell said. "It's important for us to provide the best health care to the community."
The focus of this years' funding will be to expand Martin Health Systems' service to open the Tradition Medical Center. The 82-bed facility will include about 25,000 square feet of space dedicated to the care of infants and children. To equip the facility, 60 percent of the funds raised will be used to purchase equipment for a neonatal intensive care unit, labor and delivery unit and post-partum unit.
The rest of the money will raised will be used to further fund the LifeSavers' programs.
The 2013 Goombay Bash will take place from 7-11 p.m., on Saturday, July 20.
Tickets are available at givemhf.org/goombay/tickets.
Sponsorships are still available at givemhf.org/goombay/sponsor.
For more information, visit www.givemhf.org.