San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

San Felipe Lions Club News
Article by Kathy Preppernau
May 29th 2008

The San Felipe Lions Club held its election of new officers at the meeting on May 22nd, electing Hal/Paco Clark, the new president, Pastor Gary Lewis, as vice president, Mike Miller, the new treasurer and several members to board positions. Elayne Caldwell will remain in her position as Secretary and we really appreciate the great job she does.
The induction of the new officers will take place at the next meeting on June 26th and a special event honoring the outgoing administration and welcoming the new administration will be held at Cantu Cove on July 5th. It will be a day of fun and the first annual Horseshoe Tournament in San Felipe. It is being sponsored by John & Rachel Pack, Lions Club members and publishers of Mexico Living Magazine and will be open to the public. You will be hearing more about this event very soon.

The District B1 Governor of the Baja and Sonora Lions Clubs, Joel Gomez, was introduced by President Gary Dilley. He traveled here with 3 members from other Lions Clubs from his district to addressed the board meeting and the regular meeting regarding the fundraising campaign for this area of Mexico as part of the Lions Club International Fundraising objectives to continue the humanitarian efforts for this District. There are 9 districts in Mexico and District B1 is #1 in membership, #1 in fundraising, includes 60 clubs and added 300 new members in 2007.

Worldwide, the Lions Clubs are recognized for their service to the blind and visually impaired in developing countries. Our local club has been working with the Flying Samaritans for the past 15 months as part of our mission here in San Felipe to help the visually impaired.

The Flying Samaritans were in town again this past week and at the meeting Gary introduced Jim Mc Kay, a pilot and the future president of this Flying Sam’s group. He spoke to the membership about their mission and thanked the Lions Club for their help and support here.

Karen Bradley, who organizes and helps coordinate the Sam’s visits, also spoke about the wonderful dedication of this group and how so many needy people have been helped who would not have been able to afford the surgeries, eye exams and glasses they’ve received. The Flying Samaritans have performed over 50 surgeries and examined and fit more than 600 patients with glasses since the San Felipe Lions Club have been involved in helping with this humanitarian mission.

On Friday, several of the Flying Samaritans visited Dr Abasolo’s office to see the new addition to his Clinic and brought donations of medical supplies from the Modesto Hospice. Dr Shimon, Urologist from the Sutter Gould Medical Group of 250 physicians, asked Dr Abasolo for a list of equipment he will need to get the operating room and the emergency room ready for the fall season. He will see what he can get donated or get at a reasonable price for the facility.
Also on Friday the screening of 20 patients already prescreened by Dr Sergio Sandavol, our local optometrist and Karen Bradley the week before was done at the hospital. Only 10 surgeries could be done on Saturday so this added screening has to be done.

On Saturday at Hospital San Felipe, Dr Greg Tesluk, a Flying Samaritan’s ophthalmologist, performed 10 cataract surgeries with the assistance of many volunteer nurses both local and those who came with the Flying Sam’s. Three premed students from UC Merced came with the group this time to observe and assist. Of course, Karen Bradley was there working with them and seeing that everything ran smoothly.

Food was provided by Karen, by Curt Porter, Lions member who had it delivered from Lupita’s and by Tom Edwards, owner of Fat Boys, also a Lion, provided pizza for all the volunteers. Thank you all very much for your dedication and service to our community.

A special thanks to Carlos Kuttler who donates the Hospital for the Flying Sam’s to use. The Hospital is fully equipped and several Lions members have praised the care they’ve received there. (Carlos will even deliver oxygen in the middle of the night in his pajamas in an emergency). Cliff White knows this first hand and is grateful for his help during Cliff’s recent crisis.

The club also wants to thank Pat Butler, a Lions member, for providing rooms at Langosta Roja Inn when another hotel increased the price to the Flying Samaritan’s because it was a holiday weekend. We really appreciate you stepping up to the plate and finding rooms for them at the last minute, Pat. The Flying Sam’s not only dedicate their time and expertise but they pay their own expenses as well.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the San Felipe Lions Club we invite you to come to one of our meetings. We will be meeting just once a month during the summer on the last Thursday of the month at Cliff & Sue’s Los Arcos Restaurant at 6 PM. FYI to those who are offended or bothered by smoke – the Lions Club meeting is now non smoking.

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