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Cherlie and I spent a few weeks in April in the US, visiting with churches and family in the NY/NJ area and attending an annual fund-raising banquet and board meeting in Milwaukee. We visited lots of people and churches, did multiple presentations and enjoyed the comforts of life in the US! The banquet was very successful and we are grateful for the generosity of all who attended and contributed to our ministry in Haiti. We raised funds to pay our clinic staff, hire more employees, purchase our medications and laboratory supplies, continue with our Water and Sanitation community development project and build houses for hundreds more people whose homes were damaged in the hurricane. Many thanks to all who made the banquet a success, including the Banquet Committee Chairperson, Lin McKenney and her committee members Jeanette Schweitzer and Judith Romelus. It was a small but effective committee. THANKS TO ALL OUR DONORS AND SUPPORTERS!!!

FHH’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Katie Wolf addresses banquet attendees with an inspiring message

Banquet attendees purchasing authentic crafts at the Haitian Artists Colony

Director of Nursing, Cherlie Severe shares heartwarming patient stories

Long time supporter and auctioneer Steve True encourages bidding during the live auction

 

Now that we’re back in Haiti again, Cherlie and I are catching up on business here. One of the things we always like to do is to tell you about the visitors who come down to help us out in our clinic and our ministry.

We had a wonderful visit in late March from a group from my home church in NJ – Kingston Presbyterian Church. This faithful congregation has been sending visitors our way nearly every year since we’ve been in Haiti. Twice they’ve had their visits cancelled or postponed due to political violence, most recently in January 2017. So, this was a smaller group, but they were a huge blessing and encouragement to us and to one of the local churches in our area.

The group consisted of Janet Rubinstein, who has been on every visit to date and who directed the group, Scott Hodge, David Raduzycki, and Steve Parker from Kingston Presbyterian Church. This was Steve’s second visit, the first being in October 2007. Obviously, a lot had changed since that first visit! Scott and David have been here several times. David’s daughter Emily also made her second visit and brought a good friend, Anna Morris. And, making one of many visits was architect Tom Lee, who designed our residence quarters and who has been instrumental in helping us with our construction projects.

NJ team consisted of Janet and Cherlie in front, Steve, David, Katie, Anna, Emily and Scott (L to R) with Tom taking the photo.

 

Steve Parker and Janet Rubinstein on their first visit to us in 2007

The group was busy during the week helping out in the clinic and doing some construction projects for us. Here are some photos of their hard efforts:

Tom and Scott work on putting together screens for the residence.

 

Steve screwing screen frames together

 

David works in the shop with Viel, our Haitian carpenter

 

Scott works on a shelving unit for the Medical Records room

 

David and Scott puts shelves together

 

Janet helps in the construction by varnishing frames

 

Anna painting the iron windows in the residence

A highlight of the visit was a day spent with one of the local churches in a community near the clinic.   One of the ways in which we are expanding our spiritual ministry at Centre de Sante de Gatineau is to partner local Haitian churches with US churches, so that they can share their faith journeys together and help to build up their respective congregations through mutual sharing and encouragement. We partnered Kingston Presbyterian Church and others who come to visit from the New Brunswick, NJ Presbytery with a local Baptist church pastored by Pastor Noel, who is a good friend of ours. Janet, David, Emily and Anna spent a day with Pastor Noel and his church family, who welcomed the visitors with open arms. Their church was destroyed by the hurricane, but that didn’t deter their enthusiasm for celebrating together the joy of being in the Lord!

The roof is off and the walls of the church were destroyed by Hurricane Matthew

 

The NJ Team meets with the adults in the morning under tarps

 

The tin roof is gone but the trusses remain

 

David presented a new Creole Bible to Pastor Noel

 

Emily and Anna direct the children in a game during an afternoon VBS session

We want to thank the team for their dedication to us and to our ministry in Haiti and for their willingness to come visit us so regularly. We loved having them and look forward to the next visit from members of the New Brunswick Presbytery churches.

YOU ARE AWESOME!!!

 

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The seventh annual Friends for Health in Haiti banquet was held at the Wisconsin Club on April 25, 2015. Two hundred and forty one people attended and were treated to a wonderful evening of food, fellowship and fun! This year’s gala event included Haitian craft items in the Haitian Artist Colony, a silent auction with electronic bidding, a new Spinning Wheel activity, oral auction led by the wonderful Steve “the Homer” True and a “Sustaining the Journey” funding opportunity that allowed guests to help fund the ongoing activities of our medical clinic in Gatineau.

Dr. Catherine Wolf gave an update of the past year’s activities at the clinic and showed slides of the newly completed lab/xray/pharmacy building and second story residence quarters. The new clinic is functioning well and there are record numbers of patients being serviced by Dr. Wolf, nurse Cherlie Severe and their Haitian staff. Guest speaker Chip Duncan showed some wonderful slides and video of some of his photographic work worldwide and encouraged banquet attendees to help have an impact on those in need around the world.

We offer our thanks to the Banquet Committee with its chairperson Lin McKinney, advisor Barbara Tyler, FHH board members, underwriters, table sponsors and captains, auction item donors and all of the generous donors and banquet attendees who made this the most successful banquet ever! The money raised at this event will go directly to help the people who we serve in the clinic and in our community development programs. Thanks for helping us make a difference in the lives of thousands of Haitians in need!

Here are some photos from the wonderful banquet:

Guests mingle and enjoy the offerings of the Silent Auction, Haitian Art and Spinning Wheel, while catching up with each other.

Guests mingle and enjoy the offerings of the Silent Auction, Haitian Art and Spinning Wheel, while catching up with each other.

Guests took home a lot of great Haitian art.

Guests took home a lot of great Haitian art.

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Guests enjoyed some lively bidding on our exciting Silent Auction items.

Dr. Katie Wolf updating guests on the progress of the clinic.

Dr. Katie Wolf updating guests on the progress of the clinic.

Guests view a presentation and see the impact of their generosity in the faces of those we are helping in Haiti.

Guests view a presentation and see the impact of their generosity in the faces of those we are helping in Haiti.

Guest speaker Chip Duncan shares his most recent work around the world.

Guest speaker Chip Duncan shares his most recent work around the world.

Always a fun time, auctioneer Steve

Always a fun time, auctioneer Steve “the Homer” True gets the crowd going with his signature style.

All of us at Friends for Health in Haiti would like to wish you a very Happy Easter weekend. In Haiti, Easter weekend is a time to eat special foods (eggs, cassava bread, cabbage made from palm hearts, beets, fish, etc.) and attend special church services celebrating the resurrection of Christ. This weekend we share with other Christians the joy of knowing that our Lord conquered death and gives us hope for redemption and renewal in our lives.

Cherlie and I will be traveling this weekend, on our way to the US for a few weeks of fund-raising activities, meetings and family visits. We will be in NJ and NY first, touching base with family members and supporting churches. Then, in the middle of the month we’re heading out to Milwaukee in order to be there for the 7th annual FHH fund-raising banquet which is being held on April 25th at the Wisconsin Club. We hope that many of you will be able to attend this fun event.

We appreciate your prayers for us as we travel and for success for the Milwaukee banquet and our board meeting the following day. We hope to see many of you and look forward to saying “thanks” for your faithful support and encouragement to us in our ministry here in Haiti.

The fifth annual Hope For Haiti banquet was held at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee on April 13, 2013.  Two hundred people attended the event and were enthusiastic and generous in their support for our medical ministry here in Haiti.  This year, the Banquet Committee and the FHH board decided to forego a silent auction in order to have a larger Haitian Artist Colony with the sale of Haitian arts and crafts.  In addition, the committee added a special “Sustaining Hope” option for those who wished to contribute funds directly to ongoing clinic operations in Haiti.  This proved to be a huge success and a lot of fun, as Steve ‘The Homer” True directed a very animated and enthusiastic bidding process.

Below are some photos from the event.  We want to thank Barbara Tyler, Banquet Committee Chairperson, and all who volunteered to help on the committee and the night of the event, as well as all who attended.  We appreciate your support and encouragement!  You’re WONDERFUL!!!

Haitian Artists Colony

Haitian Artists Colony

The Board of Directors pause before dessert for a group photograph.

The Board of Directors pause before dessert for a group photograph.

Dr. Katie Wolf delivers an inspiring program and receives a standing ovation.

Dr. Katie Wolf delivers an inspiring program and receives a standing ovation.

Steve "The Homer" True gets the crowd going with his one of a kind style.

Steve “The Homer” True gets the crowd going with his one of a kind style.

A generous crowd.

A generous crowd.

I recently returned to Jérémie, Haiti after spending several weeks in the US.  Here are some highlights of my visit there:

1.  The second annual Hope for Haiti fund-raising banquet was held at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee on April 17, 2010.  Over 250 people attended and it was an enjoyable evening for all, with silent and oral auctions, Haitian market, wonderful food and great company.  Much thanks to all the volunteers, banquet sponsors and participants.  Our fantastic volunteer planning committee, headed by Barbara Tyler and Carla VonRoenn, is already planning next year’s banquet!

2.  Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) has chapters in 41 high schools throughout Wisconsin and they chose Friends for Health in Haiti as their state-wide service project this past year.  They held a final recognition dinner in the Wisconsin Dells on Monday, April 26, 2010 which was attended by myself, Dr. Gregory VonRoenn (FHH Vice President) and college student Becca Mahn.  We were presented with 299 backpacks for school children in Haiti, replete with school supplies, hygiene supplies, tennis shoes, socks and underwear.  In addition, the HOSA students raised money for shipping the backpacks to Haiti and for conducting school exams for the participating school students (checking for anemia, giving vitamins and treating for parasites).  The backpacks were packed in 55-gallon plastic drums and taken in a truck to New York, where they will be put on a shipping container.  It will take a couple of months for them to get to Port-au-Prince and be cleared from customs, after which they will be taken on a truck out to Jérémie and distributed to schools around our clinic site in Gatineau.  There will soon be 299 very happy Haitian students and their parents!

3.  In order to fill in the spaces between the backpacks in the drums, I asked for donations of used clothing and shoes from people in my home church in NJ (Kingston Presbyterian Church).  Well, it is definitely true that you have to be careful what you ask for, because the outpouring of donations was incredible, so much so that we had to buy another 12 fiber drums in which to pack everything.  Members of the congregation stayed after church on May 2nd to help pack the additional drums and they also were taken to NY for shipping.  The clothing will be donated mostly to earthquake victims in Port-au-Prince. The backpack project and NJ clothing donation was featured in an article in the New Brunswick News on April 28, 2010.

4.  While in the US, I was able to share some updates about our work in Haiti with several groups from Eastbrook Church in Milwaukee, Elmbrook Church in Waukesha, the Center for International Health (affiliated with the Medical College of Wisconsin), Kingston Presbyterian Church and other churches in the New Brunswick Presbytery in NJ.  It’s always good to share with others what we’re doing here and encourage their continued participation with us.  In addition, I met with several individuals who are interested in our ministry.  Important contacts were made and we’ll see where the Lord will lead us all in the future.

5.  While I was in Port-au-Prince, I found out that the final paperwork was submitted for release of our new jeep from customs.  Hopefully, we will soon be able to bring it home!  Thanks for your prayers

If you’re in southeastern Wisconsin, join the Mission River Band at Sportzone Grill and Bar in Germantown on Friday, February 19th at 8 p.m.

From their website:

The Mission River Band plays the great music from the “golden age of rock” – The Beatles, The Stones, Clapton, The Eagles, Van Morrison, Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers, Santana, Neil Young, To…m Petty, and some interesting “deep cuts” as well a few classic R&B favorites.

MRB is unique in that the band’s inspiration and motivation comes from performing in support of causes that are important to the group’s members. MRB has performed in support of fundraising events for organizations including Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lumen Christi Parish School, the Boerner Botanical Gardens, Guitars for Veterans (G4V), Special Olympics, and the Retinal Research Foundation.

Come on out and join The Mission River Band in a celebration of the music we love, in support of causes we believe in. What’s better than Classic Rock, except Rock for a Reason?

While Dr. Wolf was in New Jersey this week, she was interviewed for a local newspaper.  The first interview took place the day before the earthquake, and the second was the day after.  Both were printed in today’s newspaper.

FRANKLIN WOMAN FUNDRAISING TO BUILD CLINIC IN HAITI

FRANKLIN WOMAN, HOME FROM WORK IN HAITI, FEARS RECOVERY AFTER QUAKE WILL BE DIFFICULT

Hope for Haiti – our first ever FHH banquet – is fast approaching!  The banquet will be held on Saturday, April 4th at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee, WI.  For tickets, please email Tracy at friendsforhealth@gmail.com.

Plans are well underway and all signs point to a very fun event!    In support and celebration, please join Dr. Catherine Wolf, founder and executive director, and the Board of Directors in supporting the mission of Friends for Health in Haiti.

A cocktail reception begins at 6pm, where we will be entertained by members of the Ko-Thi Dance Company,  performing music from Haiti and the Caribbean.  If you’re not familiar with Ko-Thi, I encourage you to visit their website.  They are celebrating 40 years in 2009.

Dinner will follow at 7:30.  There will also be a silent auction, which is shaping up to be quite exciting with wonderful donations from area business and organizations.  There will also be a large number of Haitian arts and crafts.

Tickets can be obtained by emailing friendsforhealth@gmail.com.  Other opportunities are still available as well.  We are still accepting auction item donations and advertising for our program.  Email us if interested in these opportunities.

On July 11th, Courtney Ley, of Shirley, Massachusetts is embarking on a rugged, 64 mile hike to raise funds and awareness for Friends for Health in Haiti.

Courtney heard about Friends for Health in Haiti from her friend Pamela Adams. Pam grew up in Haiti, which is where she met and got to know Dr. Katie Wolf. One day, Pam and Courtney were hiking in the New Hampshire mountains and talking about how people in Haiti walk up and down mountains just to get home. Pam commented that she never really understood hiking as a recreational sport! This struck a chord with Courtney and now she is planning the longest continuous hike of her hiking career to benefit Friends for Health in Haiti.

Courtney is planning to hike the Pemi Loop in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, not once, but twice! The Pemi Loop, rated the 2nd most difficult day hike in the U.S. by Backpacker Magazine, includes eight mountain peaks and an elevation change of 18,000 feet. It’s also notorious for it’s “knee-hammering” rocky trails and miles of exposed ridgeline. Courtney is currently spending her weekends doing 20-30 mile training hikes.

Bondcliff, the last peak in the Pemi Loop

Bondcliff, the last peak in the Pemi Loop

Regarding the hike itself, Courtney says “I plan to begin the hike Friday night July 11th at around 8 p.m.  Hike throughout the night and have completed a little more than half of the first loop, up and over 6 mountains and 18 miles before the sun rises on Saturday. I’d like to watch the sunrise from on top of South Twin Mountain, a 4,902 foot peak.  From that point, I will be going over the last four mountains in the daylight and begin the second loop after 32 miles and 14-16 hours later.  I will be camping after about 8 miles into the second loop at the base of the summit of Mt Liberty (4,459 ft) for about 4-5 hours, depending on how I feel at that point.  From there, I hope to complete the last 40 miles through Saturday evening through the night and into Sunday morning.  My goal is to have hiked all 64 miles by Sunday afternoon July 13th“.

Courtney in Alaska a few weeks ago

Courtney in Alaska a few weeks ago

Courtney is 32 years old and works for an environmental consulting company. She has an extensive hiking background, having hiked up the 48 mountains in New Hampshire and half of the 46 mountains in New York’s Adirondacks. She climbed Mt. Ranier last year and just got back from a mountaineering course near Denali in Alaska. She is going to attempt to climb the Matterhorn in 2010 and she’s going for Denali in 2012.

Help cheer Courtney on! Leave a comment wishing her good luck.

If you’d like to make a donation to FHH in honor of Courtney’s hike, click to go to our PayPal donation page. Put Courtney’s name in the message field.

And stay tuned! Courtney will be doing a guest post about her experience when she’s completed her trek.

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