Rotary Club members show goodwill toward Guatemala

  • Tue Sep 21st, 2010 9:02pm
  • News

By Amy Daybert Herald Writer

LAKE STEVENS — They’re inching closer to reaching their goal.

Members of the Rotary Club of Lake Stevens and Granite Falls were told Friday that they had raised $58,772 toward the construction of a medical and dental clinic in the town of Monterrico, Guatemala, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. They are trying to raise $85,000.

“Slowly but surely we’re at 69 percent of our financial goal,” Rotarian Barbara Knowles said.

Knowles serves as chairwoman of the club’s international service committee and is board president of the Healing the Children organization’s Oregon and Western Washington chapter. She is one of four women who, beginning Thursday, will spend a week in Monterrico providing medical and dental care. Rotary Club of Lake Stevens and Granite Falls members Kathy Little, Tracy DeLorm and Ann Anderst of the Rotary Club of Everett Port Gardner will also make the trip.

DeLorm is a dentist who owns DeLorm Family Dental in Lake Stevens. She sent dental equipment to Monterrico weeks ago, but she’ll still bring five duffel bags of supplies along with her when she leaves for Guatemala on Saturday.

“I’m bringing other medical stuff,” DeLorm said. “Four (bags) are completely full of other stuff that goes down to the clinic.”

DeLorm’s mother, pharmacist Judi Richardson of Vancouver, Wash., will also volunteer for a week with the group.

While in Guatemala, the women will provide health care to people near the site of where the Monterrico Community Clinic and Education Center is under construction.

The building’s framework, including walls and roof, is expected to be finished by December, Knowles said. People working on and living near the new clinic hope to eventually add a second floor with a birthing center and surgery suite.

The finished project will be the result of an assessment by the University of Washington Network of Family Medicine residency programs and Healing the Children of Oregon and Western Washington. The volunteers from the organizations asked local people what they wanted from the clinic, Knowles said. The Rotary Club of Vista Hermosa, Guatemala City, and the nonprofit Centro Cristiano Cultural of Guatemala have also helped plan the clinic.

“Everything that this project is was identified by the villagers as what they needed and not what somebody from the developed world said they needed,” Knowles said.

So far, donations to the campaign include a $25,450 grant from Rotary International District 5050 and $12,500 from the Seattle International Foundation. Members of the Rotary Club of Lake Stevens and Granite Falls have contributed $5,500 to the clinic. Rotarians from Alderwood Terrace, Everett, Everett Port Gardner, Fidalgo Island and Northshore clubs have also contributed to the campaign.

“Once we build the clinic, the story has just begun,” Knowles said. “People can volunteer, they can travel. The medical teams go every February and September … you don’t need to be a medical person.”

Little knows that on her first trip to Guatemala she will assist with dental work by cleaning the instruments between patients. She doesn’t know exactly what else to expect but said she is ready to offer help wherever it is needed.

“I’m sure it will be life changing,” she said.

Monterrico Community Clinic

For more information about the Monterrico Community Clinic and Education Center in Monterrico, Guatemala, go to www.htcoregonwashington.org or www.lakestevensrotary.org. Donations can be mailed to the Lake Stevens Rotary Charitable Foundation, P.O. Box 908, Lake Stevens, WA 98258.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.