Daughter’s Legacy Helps Transform Haiti Medical Care

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 27, 2018)  Access to emergency care and medical treatment for the poor in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is about to get better, thanks to the 160 guests who attended the 13th Annual Dreams, Past & Present Event in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

For more than a decade, Andy and Florette Sokulski, along with Fr. Medard Laz, have been dedicated donors to Food For The Poor. They created the Dreams, Past & Present event to honor Andy and Florette's daughter, Julie Sokulski Hesser, who died 12 years ago at the age of 32.

Support from this year's event will fund additions to the recovery facility in Bernard Mevs Hospital, in Port-au-Prince, where the Sokulskis have funded multiple projects over the years.

Thanks to the support of Chicago-area donors, the Bernard Mevs Hospital has been updated and even has an Intensive Care Unit, which was made possible by the Sokulskis.

Food For The Poor Senior Field Advisor Delane Bailey-Herd, who has traveled to Haiti with the Sokulskis and Fr. Laz, emceed this year's event. She said she was moved by the compassion and the love expressed by the guests.

"It's beautiful to see the impact this event has made in its 13 years, and the effect it is having on so many lives," Bailey-Herd said. "These are people who many here have never even met. To witness the passion of the participants year after year, who are helping to bring change to the poor in Haiti, is a gift from God and it's truly amazing."

Food For The Poor Executive Vice President Ed Raine also attended the gala, and expressed his gratitude.

"I've had the opportunity to visit Bernard Mevs and to meet with the twin doctors who run the hospital, Doctors Jerry and Marlon Bitar," said Raine. "It's because of your support they are able to provide the best level care they can give."

Fr. Laz presented three Lifetime of Giving Awards. Susan Origer, Lawrence and Carolyn Keefe, and John and Darlene Conrad were honored for their loving contributions.

Each guest also received a handwritten thank you note from students attending Ecole Nationale de la Sainte Famille de Julie or the National School of the Holy Family of Julie, in Alpha Village, Gressier, Haiti. Funds from last year's gala built the school named after the Sokulskis' daughter.

The event featured a cocktail reception, a silent auction, a raffle and a three-course dinner that was followed by live entertainment and dancing.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Wanda Wright

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079