Rotary Club of Gros Islet, The Rotary Satellite Club of Gros Islet, South Saint Lucia, The Rotary Satellite Club of Saint Lucia Sunset, The Lions Clubs of Vieux Fort and Micoud & the Hewanorra Plaines Leo Club teamed up to distribute Wheelchairs in the South of Saint Lucia
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Wheelchair Distribution - Phase 2

Saturday August 24th will go down as a very special day in the history of the Rotary Club of Gros Islet.  The Rotary Club of Gros Islet, along with our Satellite Club in South Saint Lucia, and the Rotary Satellite Club of Saint Lucia Sunset, teamed up with the Lions Clubs of Vieux Fort and Micoud and the Hewanorra Plaines Leo Club to deliver approximately fifty wheelchairs to citizens in need.  The operation was masterminded by President Joel Crocker of Gros Islet Rotary and Lion Marvin Joseph of Lions Vieux Fort.  Together they, well, mainly Marvin with the help of the Lions in the South, ensured that the people on the list to receive chairs, existed, needed the chairs, mapped their location and assigned teams to pickup trucks.  The process was carried out efficiently commencing at the Lions Den in Vieux Fort with the inflating of the tires and sorting into zones.  Teams were all on the road by 10.00am and the last team checked back into the Den by 1.50pm.
The spirit of comradery between the service clubs was outstanding, the work that we accomplished in in a relatively short time was impressive and the joy that we felt at having carried out this project together and transformed the lives of those who received the chairs, was immeasurable.  The Lions treated us to lunch which was way beyond the call of duty but we accepted in the greatest of humility as we understood that the gesture was one of true friendship, very touching and a mark of the greatest accomplishment of the day - establishing bonds of friendship that we know will last and bear even greater fruit.
The vision of Rotary international is - Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.
Lions International Vision : To be the global leader in community and humanitarian service.
This project, phase 1 of which was carried out a month ago, was financed by the Tourism Enhancement Fund of the Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association, and through Rotary's contact with the World Wheelchair Foundation.  Truly this project exemplifies Rotary's Vision.
People, clubs and organizations came together, united in the truest sense of the word, took action, that created lasting change, starting in California, to China and back to Saint Lucia - across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.  
It is without doubt that change within ourselves took place as we took in the combination of despair and courage in those souls that we brought hope and dignity to.  Mobility is something that most of us take for granted until we see first hand, the difference that a wheelchair makes in the lives of those without mobility.
In her wrapping up remarks, President of the Lions Club of Vieux Fort, Ms. Sinovia Moonie said that it was days like this that remind us all, why we join service clubs.  President of Rotary Club of Gros Islet echoed these words and stated that the day had accomplished so much more than executing a joint project, it has forged true bonds of friendship between the members of the respective clubs, bonds that he hoped would endure to the mutual benefit of the clubs and the communities that we serve.
There are so many more wonderful photographs that I am unable tom share with you, my valued readers, due to the fact that they have not been shared with me yet.  I hope that I will be able to find the time to share with you again soon.
Hawaiian Boat Party 

Rotary Satellite South Boat Party

Photos sent by Rtn. Marie before the voyage began.
Diabetes - One of DG Trevor's Priorities 
From The Rotarian

Rotarian rides again


Rotary Club of Westlake Village, California

On his way from his home in California to the Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany, Edwin Velarde took an unusual detour. In an effort to raise awareness of diabetes, Velarde, 57, rode a bicycle for the last leg of his trip, cycling 525 miles from London to Hamburg. After making stops along the way to visit Rotary clubs and talk about the impact of diabetes, he arrived on 31 May after 13 days of riding. He spoke to clubs in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.

This was not the first time Velarde, a board member of the Rotarian Action Group for Diabetes, had cycled to a convention. "I thought I could create awareness by riding to conventions," says Velarde, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 29. He biked from Busan to Seoul, Korea, in 2016, from Chicago to Atlanta in 2017, and from Rotary headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, to Toronto in 2018. This year, the journey had added meaning; Velarde dedicated this ride to his son Davis Edwin Velarde, who died at 22 of lymphoma in April.

Diabetes is a chronic illness that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce insulin (type 1) or when the body cannot effectively use insulin (type 2). When diabetes is not controlled, it can result in severe damage to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves and can double a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke.

The World Health Organization estimates that the number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.

Several years ago, when Velarde was feeling fatigued and depressed about his illness, a friend gave him a bike. He took it out for a spin.

"That ride woke me up to the fact that I was not fit," he recalls. "I realized I wanted to become a cyclist, and not just someone who rides a bike."

Velarde’s goal is to rally support among Rotarians to find a cure for diabetes, and to spread the word that a healthy lifestyle can help people who have type 2 diabetes better control the illness.

"We have what it takes to conquer the diabetes epidemic," he says. "Imagine the 422 million people we could help."