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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.

This slideshow was originally shown at the annual “Hope for Haiti” banquet back in April of this year. It is a visual summary of the past year of construction at the clinic property in Gatineau, during which a bridge was built across the creek on the site, the storage depot was built, and work began on the foundation of the new clinic. It is encouraging to see all that has been accomplished in the past year, and we are excited to see what the site will look like by this time next year!

The third annual Hope for Haiti banquet was held at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee on April 16, 2011.  Over 200 people were in attendance and it was an enjoyable time for all.  There was an extensive silent auction, an exciting live auction, unique Haitian crafts, delicious dinner and wonderful company.  Much thanks to all who helped with the planning and implementation of the banquet and to those who participated, both by their presence and with their contributions.  One hundred percent of the funds raised at the banquet, as with previous banquets, will be used for our clinic construction.

Live Auction Excitement (Photo by paparazzibyappointment.com)

Speaking of construction, work is presently underway on an entry road onto the clinic site and a bridge over a creek running through the site.  This work is being done by Engineer Paul Chery, the Regional Director of the Haitian Department of Transportation.  We had asked him for advice in construction of the road and bridge, to be sure they would be built in accordance with Haitian road standards, and he offered to supervise the work for us and use his equipment and workmen to do it.  So, on April 2nd, the work was started, using a brand new back hoe/front loader that had just been sent out from Port-au-Prince.  Here are some photos from that day:

Area to be worked on

First Pass

Work in progress

Constructing the Road

Lots of spectators

Progress on the road

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

I recently spent a few weeks in the US, and my activities included a wonderful fund-raising banquet that was held in Milwaukee on April 4th.  We’re thankful to Fund Development Corporation, who helped with the planning of it, in collaboration with a great group of volunteers and our administrative assistant Tracy Bernhardt.  Over 230 people attended the event, which was held at the beautiful Wisconsin Club, and I think everyone had an enjoyable evening.  It was a wonderful chance to share what Friends for Health in Haiti is doing here in the Jérémie area and what our vision is for the future.

I realized, after getting back to Haiti, how much I became accustomed to the luxuries of life in the US when I felt surprised that:

  • I turned on the light switch in my room and the ceiling light didn’t come on (we only have electricity when we turn on a generator or inverter/batteries).
  • I stopped at one of the local gas pumps and they were out of gas.
  • I put on my seat belt and realized that no one else in the pick-up was wearing theirs.
  • I turned on the hot water faucet in the shower and no hot water came out.  In fact, no water came out because the pipe bringing running water to our house was broken and took a day and a half to fix.
  • There were 30 people in front of me in the line at the bank and no one seemed to care that they would be standing there for an hour or more.

This just goes to show that the daily activities of life are much more difficult in Haiti than they are in the US.  So, don’t take 24/7 running water and electricity for granted!  They are a luxury to people in many parts of the world, including Haiti.

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.

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