Operation International Summer Benefit

Saturday’s benefit raised funds for medical outreach

On Saturday night, we boarded a Hamptons Luxury Liner shuttle and headed to Operation International’s 21st annual summer benefit at Laurel Lake Vineyards on the North Fork. Operation International is a non-profit medical mission organization based in Southampton. The event honored Jack Van De Wetering and, in memoriam, Maryellen Spandonis.

All funds raised at the September 22 event went to benefit medical outreach and continued work to improve the living conditions at the Rakai Infant & Elementary School Orphanage in Uganda. The event featured dancing under the stars with That Motown Band, dinner, drinks, and live and silent auctions. A video presentation of the group’s work left few with dry eyes in the audience. At this year’s event, Operation International also offered the opportunity to join one of the medical missions and experience first-hand what it’s like to be an integral part of a life-saving mission.

“We are looking forward to celebrating with old and new friends as we raise funds to support our continued volunteer work offering free medical treatment, education, and training to adults and children suffering from the lack of quality health care in impoverished countries around the world,” said Operation International’s co-founder and chairman of the board of directors, Dr. Medhat Allam, prior to the event.

Operational International’s Team NY was the first group to make a mission to Haiti with the organization in 1997. Since then, the team has helped many in need in Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, Vietnam, Nepal, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Zambia, Peru, India, Egypt, Kenya, Chile, Ghana, Myanmar, and Tanzania. The foundation has grown to over 200 medical professionals with numerous chapters. Partners include the United Nations, Rotary International, Agnes Varis Trust, Americares, AFYA Foundation, Soles 4 Souls, and Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach.

Highlights from recent medical missions include a refurbished hospital in Uganda, an eye hospital in the Himalayas, a five-year program to feed vulnerable children at orphanages in the Philippines, a five-year program to train therapists on managing victims of gender violence in Kenya with expansion to South Africa, and the delivery of mattresses, bedding, clothes, shoes, and food and installation of solar panels, lights, and computer terminals at four orphanages in Uganda.

For more info, visit www.operationinternational.org.

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