(PHOENIX – August 25, 2020) For the past 50 years Phoenix-based nonprofit, Esperança has been dedicated to providing hope to some of the poorest communities in South and Central America by providing health education, food sustainability, disease prevention, access to clean water, ecological home-building and life-altering surgeries.
For the last nine years, the San Diego bridge community has hosted an annual bridge tournament to raise funds to support Dr. Ray Sachs’ medical missions with Esperança. The funds raised from the tournament helps buy medical equipment and cover the cost of travel that allows Dr. Sachs’ and his team to perform life-altering surgeries in places like Ecuador, Nicaragua and Peru.
Due to COVID-19, this year’s annual tournament was hosted virtually, allowing the event to expand and include bridge clubs in Colorado and Arizona, Esperança’s home state. Together, the one-day tournament raised more than $19,000 for Dr. Sachs’ future surgical missions with Esperança.
With this funding, in just one week abroad Sachs and his team can perform over 30 complicated, life-transforming surgeries.
“We are grateful for all the players, donors, volunteers and everyone else who has continued to help make this event a success the last nine years,” says Jeri Royce, Esperança’s president & CEO. “With their support, we will continue to provide these life-changing surgeries, once it is safe to do so again.”
In response to COVID-19, Esperança has suspended all surgical missions, but the team is hopeful for the outlook of the 2021 season.
Thanks to the bridge community’s continued support, Dr. Sachs’ team alone has been able to perform more than 1,700 surgeries over the years to fix issues such as club feet, hip dysplasia, and other bone, joint and muscle conditions while also providing ongoing education to the local hospital staff.
“I am passionate about delivering health care to those that are most in need,” says Dr. Sachs, Esperança’s board member and volunteer surgeon. “As a dedicated member of the San Diego bridge community, their continued support for my medical missions with Esperança in Central and South America is invaluable.”
Esperança partners with indigenous organizations to provide surgical treatment to vulnerable populations who are uninsured or unable to cover the costs of essential surgical care. Esperança’s volunteer teams provide a wide range of surgical specialties including, urology, gynecology, ophthalmology, plastics and more.
For more information about Esperança or joining a surgical mission, please visit www.esperanca.org.
Derived from the Portuguese word for “hope,” Esperança has been dedicated to transforming lives since its inception in 1970. Now celebrating 50 years of service this year, globally Esperança works within some of the poorest communities in Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mozambique and Peru, providing health education, food sustainability, disease prevention, access to clean water, ecological home-building and life-altering surgeries. Further, the organization also serves under-resourced children, adults and seniors in Maricopa County through programs such as oral health, chronic disease prevention and management, and nutrition. For more information, please visit: www.esperanca.org.