The Smiles in Barron Just Got Bigger!

Last week saw the completion of the sixth annual Barron Dental Clinic, sponsored by Friends of Barron.  The usual suspects showed up (the dentists, I mean) and they all worked their buns (and knees) off for four solid days. We treated a whopping 93% of the school aged children and their 4,845 teeth with the following results. The percentages indicate the number of kids that are cavity-free. The colors indicate the year of treatment, blue being this year.

Barron Smile Chart

The percentage increase in cavity-free smiles is huge. This tells me a few things:

  1. The kids aren’t afraid of the dentist.
  2. They actually have learned how to care for their teeth in less than optimum circumstances.
  3. That our dentists are the best.

Please join me in thanking this remarkable group of humanitarians.  Thanks must also go out to those EDM folks who allowed the group to use their condos that week. You are all so very special!!

Barron High School Expands

Due in part to FOB’s efforts to expand high school attendance in the town of Barron, the Mexican government has extended a program providing start-up aid to rural communities like Barron. Education past the eighth grade is not mandated by the government, so rural communities often lack the facilities to educate the graduating 13 year-olds, assuming they will turn immediately to field work, motherhood or other manual labor. In Barron, this is not so; not anymore.

Last year, the State authorities in Culiacan provided a principle, a few teachers and a space in which to educate them at the ninth grade level. With matching funds provided by the parents of Barron and FOB, the Sinaloa Department of Education then built a single room structure and called it a school. And now, due to efforts on the part of the school principal, Ana Cecelia, fundraising has begun to transform the dilapidated residence next door into a school annex. Thanks in part to the cash donation from the nearby Estrella del Mar resort, a result of their annual charity golf tournament, work began to convert a three room abandoned home into a place of learning.

Much progress has been made. Two more classrooms have been added in addition to an office for Ana Cecelia and a fully equipped computer laboratory. The classrooms still need to be finished, the roof must be tiled before the summer rains begin, an air conditioning system is almost a necessity during the fall semester and the security system must be updated. In all, about $15,000 USD needs to be raised to complete these tasks and provide the students of Barron a safe and reliable educational experience.

Because the 2017 eighth grade graduating class now has the option of attending a quality school without traveling into Mazatlan daily, the FOB high school scholarship program has been eliminated. Our current crop of scholarship students will continue to attend their current schools, although seven high schoolers and two university students will graduate this year, having maintained at least “B” average throughout their academic careers. Most maintain averages closer to “A+”. This leaves 24 high school and ten university students in the program for next year. Applications for additional university scholarships, five in all, will go out at the end of May. The completion of the Barron high school will allow Friends of Barron to concentrate on sending deserving young adults on to a university or vocational curriculum that will benefit themselves, their families and their community.

Obviously, funding for these programs is of prime necessity. Please visit our CrowdRise page and donate money to achieve this goal.

2017 Medical Clinic Concludes

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Left to Right, 1st ROW: Nurses Lourdes Orouno and Eric Jackson, doctors Robert Chang and Alvin Ong, Kris McGuire. ROW 2: Nursing assistants Miriam and Rosa. ROW 3: Nursing assistant Carolina, Nurses Barbara Sowa and Angie Portland, translators Lenny Rebecca Sigwarth Velasquez and Dick McGuire.

The 2017 Friends of Barron free medical clinic has come to close. This year, we treated over 100 adults, mostly the elderly, who were afflicted with both metabolic and orthopedic disease. Two American doctors, three nurses and a translator volunteered their time and paid their own expenses to travel to Mazatlan from the Pacific Northwest, Colorado and Connecticut in order to stage this, the fourth consecutive free medical clinic organized by FOB. Also participating for the first time this year was SAT-sponsored nurse Lourdes Orounó Soto and her team of three Mexican nurses-in-training.

Patients were seen both in the temporary “MASH”-type clinic in the town hall and in the privacy of their own homes if they were not ambulatory. While treatment of acute disease such as rhinitis, influenza and the like were way down, many orthopedic patients from last year’s clinic returned, hoping to benefit once again from pain relieving joint injections. Those suffering from diabetes, hypertension and other chronic disease were offered individual counseling along with expert advice on how to improve their lot.

 

Four Students Still Need Sponsors

The school year is half over and Friends of Barron still needs to locate a few more sponsors to keep these kids in school.  We have been covering their expenses so far this year out of the General Fund, but we really need to free up some more money to finish the high school.

Please see if you can find it in your hearts to spare a few dollars that allow these kids to continue their education.  Thank you!


img_0140Nataly is fifteen years old and began her first year of high school in August. In her free time, she likes to play soccer. but for now, she has to get on the bus in Barron at 5:30 every morning and doesn’t get home from high school until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, leaving little time for sport.” I’ve always been interested in education, particularly education of young children. And so my goal is to become an elementary school teacher. I see the teaching profession as a good way for me to help the society I live in.”

Nataly was a “A” student throughout middle school in Barron. For her proposed community project she expresses dissatisfaction withe the condition of the streets in Barron she would happily volunteer 10 hours a week to help set up trash collection and recycling program so people don’t throw trash in the streets.


img_0143Marco graduated from the Barron middle school in June with a “B+” average. He likes to play baseball and soccer in his spare time. His dream is to become a veterinarian because he loves animals. In his essay, he says he needs a scholarship because, unfortunately, his parents just don’t have the money to send him to school. “For my parents, it’s hard enough to get the money together to live day to day, even though my father works hard, seven days a week and sometimes at night in the fields. My mother is a housewife.”

“My ultimate goal would be to open a veterinary clinic in Barron and take care of displaced animals and animals that don’t have a home. I know that my economic conditions at this time are not very favorable and I’m not sure how I am going to pursue this career. But I am hopeful that I can be successful.”


img_0146Antonia is seventeen years old and is in her second year of high school at the COBAIS in Isla Piedra where she maintains a “B+” grade average. He favorite pastimes are reading and writing and she also enjoys playing soccer. Her goal is to enter University and pursue a career in criminology with a minor in English.

For her community project, she thinks cleaning the place up is a key step toward attracting tourism. She say, “there are many very beautiful places in my community like the river, like the agricultural fields, but they appear spoiled because of trash.”

 


fullsizeoutput_2fedAlondra likes to read and attends high school in Mazatlan. She is a junior this year. She had a sponsor for her sophomore year but that sponsor has since dropped out of the program. She was a straight “A” student when she graduated from 8th grade two years ago. She is the oldest child with three younger brothers, one of whom requires special education, traveling to Mazatlan to receive special care. Her family can no longer afford the bus fare and Alondra is afraid the same thing will happen to her, preventing her from continuing her education. She is very interested in medicine and would like to be a nurse or a psychologist

 

Thank-You EDM!

Friends of Barron would like to thank Estrella del Mar and its Charity Golf Tournament for its kind donation of 40,000 pesos to our charity. This money will go a long way in adding two rooms to the high school in Barron which just opened in the fall of 2016.

If you’d like to know more about this project and other projects Friends of Barron is conducting in Barron, please contact Dale Lyster at DLyster@shaw.ca.

Dental Clinic Passes Milestone

Estrella del Mar resident and retired dental hygienist Clair Silk has passed a milestone. Her original idea of trying to improve the dental health of the children of Barron has succeeded beyond her wildest expectations and she has managed to pass the responsibility of the program to local authorities.

Claire, along with EDM resident Janice Schoen, spend the morning of February 22, 2017 at the Barron kindergarten treating 65 four-, five- and six-year olds with fluoride. This program was initiated three years ago as a supplement to the full dental treatments administered to the entire primary school, a program that began in 2013. Over the course of the program, significant gains have been made in the dental health of the children of Barron.

barron-smile-chartAs you can see from the chart, the dental clinics have happened every year since 2013. We have treated over 14,000 teeth and every year, fewer and fewer of those teeth are decayed. Most significant is the improvement shown by the Class of 2017. These young people have demonstrated meteoric improvement in their dental health, beginning with a mere 12% of students with cavity-free smiles and ending with a whopping 82%  of cavity-free smiles last year. We expect additional improvements in this, their last year of treatment.

The more exciting news is that the town of Barron has also committed to building a medical facility that will eventually supplant our efforts. We fully expect that the medical outreach staff that is in place in Barron now will have suitable housing for future medical clinics and will eventually take over the dental program as well.

Thanks go out to all the EDM residents (Jan & Bill Schoen and Willie Portman) who have helped every year. Pictured below are the students-in-training who assisted Claire and Jan in the fluoride application. It’s interesting to note that two of the four trainees are former Friends of Barron Scholarship students.fullsizeoutput_2f9d

 

FOB Progress Checklist for 2017

SCHOLARSHIPS

  • 30 kids on scholarship
    • 18 High School
    • 12 University
  • 22 sponsors
  • Annual Cost: $17,100 USD
  • Funds Raised: $12,700
  • 8 New Sponsors Still Needed

SCHOOL IMPROVEMENTS

  • Internet brought to all three Barron schools
  • 50 computers donated and installed in these schools
  • New high school (one room) built; 3 additional existing classrooms being remodeled
  • Total Project Cost: $38,000 USD
  • FOB Commitment: $15,000 USD
  • Funds Raised: $4,500 plus donated computers
  • Funds needed to complete project: $10,500 USD

DENTAL CLINICS

  • 200 elementary school kids treated annually
  • Volunteer US, Canadian and Mexican dentists, hygienists and staff
  • EDM residents donate time, equipment and supplies
  • Fifth Annual Dental Clinic scheduled in May 2017.
  • Marked improvement in dental health documented

MEDICAL CLINICS

  • Over 900 patients treated in the past 3 Annual Medical Clinics
  • Volunteer US, Canadian  and Mexican doctors, nurses and staff
  • Volunteers donate equipment and supplies
  • Fourth Annual Medical Clinic scheduled for the last week of April
  • New medical dispensary being equipped by FOB
  • FOB Commitment: $5,000 USD
  • Funds Raised: $3,800 USD
  • Funds Needed for April Clinic: $1,200 USD

CASH DONORS

  • Mike Winey
  • Dick & Kris McGuire
  • Dale & Lynda Lyster
  • Dave Greiner
  • Rita Pacheco
  • Bob & Mary Sanz
  • Jeff & Pam Hawkinson
  • Tom Turner
  • Sue Scholton
  • Harrison Wreschner
  • Michael Henderson
  • James Wreschner
  • Marc Lehmann
  • Ed & Eileen Murray
  • Caroline Lodato
  • Rebecca & Jonathan Tipermac
  • Pat & Sue Broderick
  • Gene & Jan Lombardo
  • Carole O’Blenes
  • Anonymous Donors
  • Estrella del Mar Charity Golf Foundation

STUDENT SPONSORS

  • Rene Carlson
  • Kelly Cosgrove
  • Sandy Vernon
  • John Serra
  • Ron & Janice Ohmes
  • Dick & Kris McGuire
  • Sonny Wong
  • Dale & Lynda Lyster
  • Bill & Jane Jackson
  • Bette Millar Long
  • Jim & Frances Barnes
  • Joseph Peters
  • Dave & Elaine Greiner
  • Ken & Jan Clarence
  • Rob & Jayne Rupe
  • Rod & Terry Kaasa
  • Bonnie & Harrison Wreschner
  • Rob & Marjorie Wright
  • Dave & Lindy Marvin
  • John Watson
  • Bob & Julie Wallace

MEDICAL MISSION STAFF

  • Dr Bonnie Wreschner  MD
  • Dr Rod Kaasa  MD
  • Claire Silk   RDH
  •  Jan Schoen  RDH
  • Dr Ben Kaasa  MD
  • Dr Kurt Ferre    DDS
  • Dr Jeff Astroth  DDS
  • Deborah Astroth   RDH
  • Dr Todd Kaminski   DDS
  • Dr Ryan Dadodavich    MD
  • Madeline Tirado   RN
  • Dawn Martin   RN
  • Lisa Brennan   RN
  • Lourdes Orouno Soto  RN
  • Dr Lavid Torres   MD
  • Dr Miguel Patino   MD
  • Yanira Owens  RDH
  • Vanessa Cook   RDH
  • Dr Davina Rose  DDS
  • Dr Galen Detrick  DDS
  • Dr Stephanie Rounds  DDS
  • Dr Susana Pedrero DDS
  • Kim Valentino   RDH
  • Dr Marjan Mohajan DDS
  • Eric Jackson   RN
  • Dr Rick Moll    DDS
  • Dr Barbara Cohen  MD
  • Fran Festa   RN
  • Dr Sandy Lithgow  MD
  • Anna Ohmes    RN
  • Barb Sowa    RN
  • Kay Yeagley  RN

COMPUTER & DENTAL SUPPLY DONORS

  • Joe & Berenice Oviatt
  • Scotia Bank, Canada
  • Cliff & Barb DuFresne
  • Joe & Linda Day

CONDO/HOME OWNERS DONATING LODGING

  • Dave & Elaine Greiner
  • Lance Gutersohn & Jeremy Kennell
  • Clair Silk
  • Mike Winey & Sandy Vernon
  • Bob & Julie Wallace
  • Bill & Jan Schoen
  • Clay & Jan Simon
  • Gary & Ann Steck
  • Dale & Lynda Lyster
  • Kris & Dick McGuire
  • Janice & Ron Ohmes
  • Mike & Shawna
  • Torrey Cosgrove
  • Fernando Campeon & Marie Claude Bouffard
  • Jack & Debbie Gilman

Our thanks go out to each and every one of these volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering your time, money, expertise or condo/home towards this good cause, please contact Dale Lyster (dlyster@shaw.ca) or Dick McGuire (richardmcg@aol.com).

 

Charity Golf Tournament

Friends of Barron, along with two other charitable foundations, was listed as one of the participating charities for the 2016 Charity Golf Tournament at the Estrella del Mar (EDM)  Resort near Mazatlan, Mexico. We had been the beneficiaries of previous tournaments and received donations ranging from $20,000 to $80,000 pesos. Last year, however, circumstances spun out of control when Mexican President Pena-Nieto decided to visit our resort. His security detail required that the course be cleared so the venue shifted to the downtown course of El Cid. The tournament was well-attended, fielding over 140 players, but even at $5,000 pesos each, the golf professionals at EDM were unable to cover expenses and the charities went begging, more or less.

EDM Management has promised us that this year will be different. In a meeting with Golf Director Jorge Enrique Corral, we have been assured that FOB is to receive top consideration for funds arising from this years’ tournament.

This is a welcome announcement since FOB has recently committed $200,000 pesos toward the construction of the new high school in Barron, matching funds with the community itself and the Mexican government. We hope that you participate in the tournament  this year to help us meet one of our longstanding goals of improving the educational level of the children of Barron. FOB is optimistic that the 2017 Charity Golf Tournament will again be a significant contributor to our ongoing projects in Barron.

Dick McGuire

CrowdRise Effort Funds Medical Clinic

FOB CANAM Inc. has begun an internet campaign to raise money for the upcoming 2017 Free Barron Medical Clinic, scheduled for the last week of February. To donate to this campaign, please go to CrowdRise.com and search for FOB  CANAM Inc.

barron-5849cacd22a23

Dr Bonnie McGuire and her three Connecticut nurse volunteers, Lisa Brennan, Dawn Martin and Madeline Tirado with two of the medical clinic patients last year.

One hundred percent of all donations will go towards supplies and equipment used at this annual event if you also choose to cover the 7% fee that the website takes. So far, we have been able to secure a defibrillator, a weight scale, glucometer supplies, wound dressings, orthopedic braces, and a variety of other things.  We still need to purchase medications and other expensive supplies so please take the time to access the CrowdRise site and donate. You will receive a letter acknowledging your donation that is suitable for the Tax man as all donations will be deductible in the United States.

Thank you, in advance, for your generosity.