April 16, 1999
Industry Appeals for Funds to Help Gem Dealer
Members of the international colored gemstone industry sent an urgent plea to the rest of the industry for donations to help Tom Banker, a dealer who was seriously injured in an auto accident during the Tucson shows in February.
Banker, president of Gem Essence Ltd. in Bangkok, Thailand, and New York City, was in intensive care at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson for more than a month and was recently transferred to Scripps Hospital in Encinitas, CA, for acute rehabilitation.
"Tom desperately needs the care that can be provided by Scripps, which costs $1,000 plus doctors' fees a day," reads the letter sent by Roland Naftule of Nafco Gems Ltd., Scottsdale, AZ. "His prognosis is promising, but he needs our help." Among the people who signed the letter were Nanette Forester of the American Gem Trade Association, Ken Scarratt of AGTA Gemological Testing Center, Paolo Valentini of the International Colored Gemstone Association, Eric Braunwart of Columbia Gem House and Judy Mayfield of Mayfield Inc.
Checks can be made payable to "Roland Naftule in trust for Thomas Banker" and sent to Nafco Gems, 10427 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85263-1440. Funds can also be routed to Bank One Arizona #10057, 10350 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85253, to routing number 122100024 and account number 29333714. Be sure to include that the routed funds are for Roland Naftule in trust for Thomas Banker. For more information call Nafco Gems at (602) 998-3393.
- by Robert Weldon, G.G.