Sunday, March 01, 2009

Looking Back....the Haitian House and Paul Kramer

This will be an interesting post...

What will this be about?

It will be about Children's Hospital of Illinois discouraging us from building the house. And then when we built it, Paul Kramer pleaded for the money.

Mr. Kramer told Jim Holmes there was no such thing as Haitian Hearts and asked Community Foundation Director James Sullivan to release the money. Neither individual would release the money to Mr. Kramer.

After Haitian Hearts donated the money (approximately $187,000) to Children's Hospital at the end of 2002, Mr. Kramer "thanked us" by calling the American Consulate in Haiti to stop me from bringing any more Haitian children for heart surgery to OSF.

Peoria Journal Star
March 20, 2002


Haitian Hearts breaking new ground -- Proceeds from sale of $200,000 home will go to Carroll program

EAST PEORIA - Katina Antoine clutched her arms around her jacket and looked out of her element. Temperatures never dip near freezing in Haiti.

But the muddy ground on the wooded lot along Illini Drive has thawed by now and Katina, 7, took the gold-painted shovel handed to her and joined local dignitaries and friends, including Dr. John Carroll, in turning a ceremonial first spade of earth.

Soon, the holes they started will reach deep enough to hold the full basement of a house that Carroll and other members of the grass-roots Haitian Hearts Program hope will sell for $200,000 or more.

None of that money will pay the home's builders, Jim Holmes & Sons of Groveland, or even the building materials' costs, said Holmes and Jeff Kolbus, who represented the Homebuilders Association of Greater Peoria at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Every dollar from the home's purchase, they said, will go directly to the charity, which Carroll helped found to bring young people from the poverty-stricken Caribbean country to Peoria for live-saving heart surgeries.

''When I see this project (begin), I'm seeing five Haitian kids waiting to come for heart surgery,'' Carroll told the group, which included Mayor Charles Dobbelaire and city commissioners Harold Fogelmark and Betty Dodson.

Carroll and Kolbus credited Holmes, who with his wife is adopting a Haitian child too ill to return home with much hope for survival, for organizing the plan to build the home entirely with donated materials and labor for the charity's benefit.

Carroll and other charity officials personalized the point of their program by bringing Katina and five other Haitians, whom Carroll has most recently selected for surgery, to the one-third-acre site in the 700 block of Illini. All but Yvel Gresseau, 28, are children, ages 2 to 16.

''They all need surgery,'' said Carroll, who in December was released from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center after 21 years as an emergency room physician but still maintains ties between the hospital and the charity he co-founded.

Holmes said he expects to begin construction of the home by next week and complete it in time for sale offering in late June.

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