Monthly Archives: May 2015

Alliance for Smiles

Submitted by Barrett Giorgis

The Groveland Rotary Club is a proud supporter of Alliance for Smiles, a San Francisco based non-profit dedicated to correcting cleft anomalies among needy populations around the world with the support of Rotary clubs in the United States and the host countries. Since its first mission in 2005 AfS has completed over 4800 surgeries during 57 medical missions in China, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Myanmar and several African countries. In addition to surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists, missions are supported by speech pathologists, dentists, orthodontists, pediatricians, psychologists, and a support staff of lay volunteers (record keeping; photography; ward, operating room, and logistic assistance). All are volunteers and non-medical staffers even pay their own way.

AfS is distinguished by its emphasis on sustained service in the communities it visits. Beyond the thousands of life changing cleft lip and palate surgeries, provided at no cost to the patients, AfS focuses on establishing Treatment Centers to provide continuing service by local personnel with periodic support by visiting Alliance support teams.

Each year AfS honors its volunteers, supporters, and donors at an awards gala and auction. This year, the 10th Anniversary, was a particularly uplifting event. The weekend long celebration began with a welcome luncheon for special guest and honoree Ron Burton, Rotary International Immediate Past President, followed by the 10th Anniversary Gala, and concluding with a Sunday BBQ.

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Rotary International Immediate Past President Ron Burton (l) was honored at a luncheon at San Francisco’s Olympic Club and is shown here with Alliance for Smiles President and Executive Director Anita Stangl, with Groveland Rotarian Barrett Giorgis.