Making a difference

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Six children will be receiving potentially life-saving surgery thanks in large part to the generosity of the Suffolk Rotary Club.

Last week, club chairman John Harrell announced that the club had donated $10,000 to the International Hospital for Children in Richmond to help fund the surgeries.

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The club’s International Committee, headed by Allen Perrel, spearheaded the two-year project. Perrel said the Suffolk club led the effort that involved Dominican Republic Rotary Clubs and clubs in South Carolina.

In all, the clubs raised about $60,000 and it is anticipated that the Rotary Foundation will match a total of $40,000.

&uot;Without the ability to come here, these children will die in the country the live in,&uot; Perrel said.

According to Susan Rickman, IHC president, the hospital has a program that links children who need critical surgery with a network of contracted hospitals and pediatric specialists.

IHC is a non-profit international humanitarian organization based in Richmond, which serves children in six developing countries.

&uot;This is not the first time Suffolk Rotary has helped IHC save a life,&uot; Rickman said. &uot;Last year they sponsored a little girl from the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines receive open heart surgery at MCS.

The current grant goes before Rotary International the first week of January.