August 2019 Update from the President: Well what a year we have had. Our 4th annual gala was a success with a total of $33,000.00 raised and our first live auction was a success. Our next gala is October 5, 2019 at the Plaza club in the previous Frost Bank tower. World renown photographer Annie Griffiths will be our guest speaker. We will have our famous silent auction along with a fun raffle and a fabulous live auction. Our goal this year is to raise in excess of $55,000.00. Check the website for details to get your tickets or sponsor a table today. Seating will be limited! Come Join the Fun!!!
We collaborated with Texas Prevent Blindness in September 2018 and our volunteers, Arivai Dunn, Eridian Alegre, Isabel Huron and Janelle Hernandez, helped to perform vision screening to over 1000 San Antonio School children. We hope to do the same this September.
We had a team travel to our Roger William Lytle clinic in Chichicastanengo Guatemala in February 2019. We performed over 160 eye exams and performed over 60 procedures. We made the acquaintance of a local ophthalmologist Dr. Julio Deleon. He and his 3 residents assisted us with the patients to make our trip a success. Cinco man returned to see us with vision of 20/30 in his previously blind eye we operated on in February 2018. We then performed cataract surgery on his other eye successfully. It was a blessing to see him walk in our clinic on his own. He had hugs for everyone. Patients like him provide us the drive and determination to continue the care for the people of Guatemala and Malawi.
Dr. Sponsel and a small team just returned from our Eyes of Africa Clinic in Malawi at CLI hospital in July 2019. It was a great success! They saw many patients and performed several surgeries to the local people in the villages. Our new eye lanes were so nice to work with. Dr. Msosa, Richard and Vincent continue to bring the people of that area quality eye care on a weekly basis.
Our first board meeting of 2019 was in April. We voted in two new members of the board, Mary Henderson and Mario Montelongo, M.D. Dr. Mario was also made the assistant medical director of the RWL clinic in Guatemala. We know they will bring great energy and help us to continue to accomplish our mission. We had our 2nd board meeting of the year July 15, 2019. The board approved the business plan for Dr. Julio Deleon working at our RWL clinic in Chichicastanengo, Guatemala along with a receptionist to help him run it and keep it organized. Dr Julio knows there is great need for eye care in that area and is confident the clinic will be a busy place with plenty of people to help year round. Dr. Chacko‘ s group from Arkansas utilized the RWL clinic at the end of July 2019 in correlation with Salud Y Paz. They were able to see 77 patients an perform over 25 surgeries. Mayra S Duran assisted again with the clinic to make it run smoothly. We are so grateful to Dr. Chacko and Salud Y Paz for bringing care to the people of the highlands.
There are so many great things happening within the Sponsel Foundation. Our dreams for self sustainable clinics in Malawi and Guatemala are now a reality. We have to continue to work even harder and stay the course to continue the success. Our two clinics collectively are providing eye care and surgeries to thousands of people every year. We appreciate all of the board members, mission team members, Child Legacy International, Buen Samaritano Hospital, volunteers and most importantly our donors. Without you, we would not be able to provide to our many patients in San Antonio, Malawi and Guatemala, “Sight For Life!”