Saigon Restaurant,, San Diego
July 15, 2019; 6:22pm
Present: Amy Vegter, Amy Schrift, Carmen Diaz, Fernando Santos, Maxie Gluckman, Janet Mikelson, Benjamin Kettor, Marian Pavlovich Sargeant, Scot Sargeant, Maureen Duncan, David Ballesteros, Julio Valdez, Dale & Lupita Proctor, Concepcion & Sebastian Rendon
Meeting began with brief introductions and a warm welcome to our guests. Notably, we had visitors (Concepcion & Sebastian) come from Aguas Calientes, Mexico. Our guest speakers, Dale & Lupita from Club 78 in North County. Finally, Julio, a Rotarian from the Tijuana club.
An announcement was made by Maureen for a special fundraiser on August 22nd in Encinitas on Leucadia Blvd. Cost to attend $15, food and drinks, and live entertainment included. All proceeds will go towards our grant to help keep Guatemalan girls in school and improve their lives through entrepreneurships. If you cannot attend, please consider a donation by clicking on the following link: GoFundMehttps://www.gofundme.com/sustainable-education-for-the%20guatemalan-girls
Maureen also mentioned her latest book titled, No Sanctuary, focused on showcasing the story of a woman and her two children facing immigration in the US. Book can be found on Amazon.com.
Following introductions, Dale introduced himself. He and his wife are charter members of the Route 78 club, which started 30 years ago. He highlighted that the Thousand Smiles Foundation has 2 primary focuses:
- Cleft Palate Surgeries
- Dental Work
Patients come not only from Baja California, but other regions in southern Mexico to the Thousand Smiles clinic in Ensenada, which is held quarterly. Usually a patient will have 10 or more surgeries over the course of 18 years. It takes time, commitment, and a lot of work to make a transformation. A lot of organizations don’t follow through and only come one time around. Thousands smiles differentiates itself by the commitment it makes with each patient. All staff onsite at the clinic donates their time and labor.
Dale then played a video: Changing lives one smile at a time. Video is also found on the link below:
Thousand Smiles is made possible by donations, grants and volunteers. Dale mentioned that all kind of help is needed. Usually Friday is a set up day, and Saturday 5-6 surgeries. The clinic has been undergoing some construction and work is performed at the Hospital General de Ensenada. Clinics are set up in February, May, August and November. Hotels can be booked through the thousandsmiles website or independently. Our club is responsible for providing lunch to the medical staff for this upcoming August clinic. Each volunteer regardless of whether they are rotarians need to be badged and registered. Please visit the website for instructions, under the subsection volunteering.
Finally, the meeting ended with an announcement from President, Carmen Diaz. She encouraged everyone to attend a “chilaquiles” breakfast fundraiser for impoverished students in Tijuana who need backpacks for the new school year. The project is a joint effort from the Tijuana Chamber of Commerce, Point Loma Nazarene University, and the University of TIjuana, along with our Rotary club. All proceeds will be used to buy backpacks and school supplies. The fundraiser will be held on Saturday, July 27th at 10am at the Cantina de los Remedios in Tijuana. A local press conference will follow the event. Carmen again expressed that even if you cannot attend you can either donate $15 or backpacks, and/or supplies.
Please save the date for our next meeting which will be held on Wednesday, August 14th at 6pm. Location TBD. Our guest speaker will be the former Dean of Santa Monica Community College. He will talk about his involvement with the organization that helps equip students in Tijuana with supplies and backpacks.