A fundraising concert featuring familiar tunes of the Eagles band takes place Saturday, March 10, in the Statesboro High School auditorium and benefits the Village of Hope Health Center in Haiti.
The concert is made possible by a donation from East Georgia Regional Medical Center. The musicians are also donating their time and performance to the worthy cause, thus enabling all proceeds from ticket sales to go directly to the Village of Hope Health Center.
On the night of the concert, local performer Russ Lanier will present “One of These Nights — The Music of the Eagles.” Lanier, Benjy Thompson, Perry Zeigler, Mandy Fowler and Brandi Harvey will be accompanied by the Dark Desert Highway Band.
Musicians include Jackie Skinner on lead guitar, Allen Amazon on drums and Jerry Roberson on keyboard.
Organizers of the event said, “The audience can take a trip down memory lane and sing along to favorites such as ‘Best of My Love,’ ‘Take it Easy,’ ‘Seven Bridges Road,’ ‘Witchy Woman,’ ‘Already Gone’ and many more.”
Pittman Park United Methodist Church and other local churches send a medical mission team yearly, beginning in 2007 and spearheaded by Dr. Randy Smith, to Village of Hope Health Center to provide medical care to some of the neediest individuals in the Western Hemisphere.
Smith, who first visited Haiti on a medical mission trip in 1980, said, “It’s important to have the clinic because if we go down there and do what I call ‘hit-and-run ministry,’ when we leave, they are on their own.
“We send them to this clinic, and they have full-time Haitian staff there to take care of them.”
Village of Hope began as a school three decades ago, serving a handful of children, and has grown from a one-room schoolhouse to an expansive campus serving 650 students from the rural Ganthier community.
A desperate need for health care then prompted the building of the Village of Hope Health Center in 2012 that serves the students, families and 70,000 community residents.
In addition to the school and clinic, Village of Hope now has a small, off-site housing facility for mission trip participants, and the Pittman Park mission team stays there each October for their trip. Smith and team members work with Haitians at the Health Center and other surrounding, rural areas.
“The farther we get from the clinic, the more malnourished children we see,” Smith said. “We’re blessed to see healthy babies come into the clinic.”
Nancy Waters, longtime medical mission trip participant, said, “What’s great about the clinic is that it’s not just a follow-up for chronic care, but they are doing preventative care there, too, giving them hope for improved health in Haiti.”
Smith, who has been on the Village of Hope Health Center board since shortly after beginning to partner with them in 2007, said, “The people of Haiti can’t pay enough to keep the clinic open. Some pay a nominal fee, and some can’t afford to pay at all, but we try not to turn anyone away.”
According to a Village of Hope brochure, only 22 percent of the operating budget is covered by fees collected, and 80 percent of Haitians live below the poverty line.
“When a mother and child come to the Health Center for the nutrition program, they are evaluated by a doctor and a nurse who is certified in nutrition,” Smith said. “Food and supplements are dispensed according to the World Health guidelines. Because the need is so great and funds are limited, only the severely and moderately malnourished can be seen and treated.
“The severely malnourished are seen once a week and moderately are seen every other week. Most stay in the program for about three months or until they are cleared by the doctor to be seen less frequently.”
Tickets for the benefit concert, from which all proceeds benefit the Village of Hope Health Center in Haiti, are $25 and are available for purchase online at EventBrite.com or at the Statesboro Family Practice office, at Pittman Park United Methodist Church, from medical mission team members or by calling (912) 536-7814. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. Groups of 10 or more can purchase the tickets for $20 each.