After many months of fundraising, organization and negotiation with Mexican authorities, the shipment of medical equipment finally made its way from the United States to Playa del Carmen. The truck, jam packed with over $500,000 USD worth of essential supplies and hospital equipment, arrived on Sunday December 14, 2014, an early “Christmas present” to the new Red Cross Hospital, courtesy of Playa del Carmen Rotary Club Seaside!

This ambitious project started over a year ago when Puerto Aventuras residents, John Schwandke (Chicago Financial District Rotary Club) Martin Wohnlich and John Klug (Denver Rotary Club 31) approached then Seaside Rotary president, Bob Hyde, with an idea. Could our Rotary clubs join forces to bring a container load of much needed medical supplies to the new, and nearly empty Red Cross Hospital in Playa del Carmen?

After getting the “green light” from the Seaside Rotary Board of Directors, Klug and Wohnlich approached Doug Jackson, president of Project C.U.R.E., fellow member and former president of Denver Rotary. Project C.U.R.E. is one of the largest NGO’s in the world, and ships needed medical supplies throughout the world, including Mexico. The project was approved and the Red Cross administrators were given access to Project C.U.R.E.‘s vast list of available medical supplies and hospital equipment, allowing them to select exactly what items were most needed to make the hospital fully functioning.

Once the items were selected, the work for Seaside Rotary began. Handling fees and shipping costs of approximately $20,000 were required for Project C.U.R.E. to package, load and document the container and ship it here. Seaside Rotary pledged and raised $10,000 USD to pay for the shipment, an ambitious sum for such a young club and a contribution that would bring our modest charitable donation account down to near nil.

Denver Club 31 committed $4,000 USD and $3,000 USD was obtained from the Rotary District 5450 of which Denver Rotary is a part. $2,000 was received from the Denver Southeast Rotary Club and personal contributions were made by Schwandke, Wohnlich and Klug to complete the necessary funds needed to cover the shipping costs to Mexico.

Sunday, December 14, all of our hard work and patience finally paid off and the delivery was received. Seaside Rotary members were out in force to help Red Cross employees and volunteers unload the truck and bring all of the supplies into the new clinic. It was an emotional moment for Seaside Rotarians and an accomplishment of which we are very proud.

For just over $20,000 USD, the Red Cross Hospital of Playa del Carmen received almost $500,000 USD of essential medical supplies and hospital equipment … an excellent investment of our Seaside Rotary resources and a wonderful example of the “Power of Rotary”.


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