On Saturday, September 28, from 6:30 PM to 11 PM, Operation International will celebrate its 22nd annual benefit gala for its medical outreach in Uganda and Bolivia at Laurel Lake Vineyards.
“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 Dr. Medhat Allam, Operation International’s co-founder and chairman of the board of directors.
Proceeds from this year’s benefit will go towards the Rakai Infant and Elementary School Orphanage in Uganda along with the medical outreach and efforts to improve living conditions in Bolivia. There will be dancing with That Motown Band, dinner, a full bar, and silent and live auctions. The auctions feature intriguing items such as international trip packages, jewelry, local products, restaurant outings, and more.
Dr. Allam founded Southampton-based Operation International in 1996 with Ravi Kothuru MD, and Robert Mineo, CRNA, as a non-profit offering medical aid in impoverished countries for those in need. Team NY is the anchor team, making its maiden trip to Haiti in 1997. In the time since, the team has gone to Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, Vietnam, Nepal, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Zambia, Peru, India, Egypt, Kenya, Ecuador, Chile, Ghana, Myanmar, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Recently, two domestic teams were added including New Jersey, completing a recent mission to Liberia, and Connecticut, which recently returned from Uganda. The nonprofit also added new teams in Hong Kong and another in the UK.
Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Noel Chan, an ophthalmologist native to the city, and Dr. Dilip Madnani, a New York plastic surgeon, Hong Kong completed its first mission with a trip to Myanmar this past February. There, they restored eyesight to 200 patients and helped 14 patients with congenital facial deformities. Dr. Sala Abdalla started the UK chapter as a general surgeon from there. She is currently leading her team in Ghana as they help the Holy Family hospital at Techiman, Bono East Region.
As the chapters continue to grow, so does its reach. The organization began a five-year program in Kenya to educate social works and therapists on the proper methods to safely treat young girls and the subject of gender violence. The program aims to extend training to South Africa as well.
Tickets are $150 for a single ticket or $250 for a couple. Learn more or donate at www.operationinternational.org. Laurel Lake Vineyards is located at 3165 Main Road in Laurel.