05 Apr 2012

Lunch meeting: Awareness for children living with clefts. Speaker: Sgt Winston Fiore (US Marine Corps)

Our speaker today was Mr Winston Fiore.  A twenty-six year old US Marine Corps Sergeant, Winston Fiore was born Indiana to French immigrants. After finishing high school, he joined AmeriCorps, America’s voluntary national service program seeking to make a difference in American education, public safety, health and environment – before joining the Marines. In 2007, his Marine Corps battalion spent three weeks training in Senegal, where his eyes were first opened.

After returning home from a training mission abroad with his Marine battalion, Winston’s father showed him a newspaper article about a surgeon who had given up his lucrative career to devote himself to providing free facial reconstructive surgeries, most of which are cleft lip/palate repairs, to children in developing countries, the cost of which remains out of reach for most families. The article was a call-to-action for this young Marine. Winston feels that no child should grow up feeling ashamed of what he or she looks like, and every child should be afforded the chance to smile. After spending seven-months in dangerous Helmand province, Afghanistan, nobody would have blamed Winston for kicking back and relaxing following his trip into the combat zone. However, he had other plans. In September 2011, Winston began his 5,000-mile walk through Southeast Asia. His route takes his through eight different countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Philippines, and Brunei. The yearlong trek is an effort to raise awareness and funds to support the International Children’s Surgical Foundation which works to change the lives of children in the developing world by providing free corrective surgery to children suffering with correctable deformities and by teaching and training local doctors to adequately care for their own patients. At its heart, the Smile Trek is simply one young man’s ability to synthesize realizing a personal dream with positively affecting a global reality. It is an effort to learn more about the world, and give back to it at the same time.

Now, Winston was in Hong Kong and he will raise fund for International Children’s Surgical Foundation (ICSF).  Our club members, President Martin, DDS Francesco, PP Kishore, PP Paul, Rtn Fali, Hon. Treasurer Betty, PP George PP Raymond, Rtn Ernie and Hon. Sec. Michael were so kind to donate HK$1,000 each to ICSF.

Rtn Stephen collected HK$670 for raffle and fines.  DDS Francesco got the raffle prize as a pair of Chocolate Rabbit.