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Financial services provider in 10th birthday donation

A Bahamian financial services provider has donated to the Bahamas Down Syndrome Association and its restaurant, Ty's Place, to mark its tenth anniversary.

Normally, a quiet giver, owner and president of FC Capital Investments Ltd (FCCI) Alexander Murbach was moved to make a meaningful donation.

"The first time I ate lunch here was an absolutely enjoyable experience. Everybody was super friendly. After learning more about the history of Ty's Place and the Bahamas Down Syndrome and Friends Center, I knew I wanted to contribute to the worthy cause," said Mr Murbach.

"We didn't want just to celebrate ourselves as a company turning ten, but give something back to the community and, in making it a more public giving, we hope to inspire our colleagues in the financial services industry to come onboard as well."

According to former Central Bank governor Julian Francis, a non-executive director of FC Capital Investments, it is tremendously rewarding for both sides when institutions in the financial services sector get behind community outreach programmes such as Ty's Place and its affiliate, The Bahamas Down Syndrome and Friends Center.

Cheryl Johnson Newell opened the centre for children with Down syndrome in 2011 with three students - one of whom was her younger son - a teacher and a volunteer operating solely from charitable donations to the small operation then housed on the Queen's College campus.

In 2014, the retired hotel singer bought the property behind Blairwood Academy. The bistro is named after her younger son's best friend, a little boy with Down syndrome who valiantly battled leukemia for five years before passing away at the age of ten.

The Bahamas Down Syndrome and Friends Center now services the needs of 48 individuals, ranging in ages from four to 51. Opening to adults in 2013, Mrs Newall started with five persons. Before she knew it the number swelled to 28, including those with autism, developmentally delayed and cerebral palsy, and Down Syndrome

"I don't believe in turning people away even if they can't afford to pay anything," said Mrs Newell, whose ultimate goal is to create a community for special needs individuals, complete with a vocational institute for teens and young adults, and with an assisted living component for those older individuals whose parent or guardian is unwilling or unable to provide care. "Donations like the one received by FC Capital Investments go a long way. Many people do not know we exist. When corporate partners seek us out we know it's from the heart."

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