Irish Embassy Hosts Auction for Hospital
- By Alisa Ballard
- May. 13 2010 00:00
A charity auction and exhibition at the Irish Embassy on Friday will benefit Russia’s largest pediatric burn unit, located at Moscow’s Speransky Children's Hospital. The sale of 40 to 50 paintings primarily by Russian artists is expected to raise several thousand euros.
The event is organized by the Children's Hospital Fund, a charity devoted to helping the burn center, and is supported by the Irish Embassy.
Irish Ambassador Philip McDonagh expressed his pleasure to help the Children’s Fund in a phone interview from Dublin.
“This is heroic work that they do. The children who are burn victims have serious ongoing problems, both physical and psychological. It takes real courage to help them. The cases are so troubling … They need real help,” he said.
The burn unit at Speransky Hospital contains 90 beds serving 1,500 patients per year. The Children’s Hospital Fund, which is formally recognized by the European Burn Association, was founded in 2001 by five Russian doctors, including the director of Speransky Hospital. The fund grew out of an earlier charitable program, Project Hope, that was begun in 1989 after an explosion of a gas pipeline in the Bashkortostan republic caused burns for more children than government assistance could handle.
“There are two ways that we help,” said Mikhail Kazbekov, director of the Children’s Hospital Fund. “We supply medical materials and equipment and have a pioneering program of psycho-social rehabilitation. Our doctors have learned from doctors in the U.S. and Britain and from our own psychologists.”
The Children’s Hospital Fund currently has two of their doctors placed in educational exchange programs in the United States.
The auction on Friday is projected to raise about 12,000 euros ($15,200) for the fund, Kazbekov said. The money will be used to sponsor camps and clubs for the rehabilitation of burn victims. This is the fund’s fourth public charity event, following three charity concerts that they previously hosted.
“It’s very hard for grassroots charities to survive because of delusions on the part of the general public and corporate sponsors that want to give money to children, but [children] cannot buy costly equipment and provide doctor exchanges and rehabilitation. Right now it’s very important to help charities,” Kazbekov said.
Artists have donated all of the 40 to 50 graphic artworks that will be sold at the event. About one-third will be sold through silent auction, and the remaining works will be sold at fixed prices. Starting auction prices range from 3,000 to 15,000 rubles ($100 to $500), and fixed prices range from 2,000 to 35,000 rubles.
Ambassador McDonagh said he is personally familiar with some of the artists’ work and mentioned that a 19th-century Irish print will be among works for sale.
“The paintings are very high quality, and we believe they are very good bargains for people who are interested,” he said.