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InterVol's Work In Haiti Extends To Helping Children's Running Club

ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In the five months since a major earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation of Haiti, InterVol and its partners Rochester General Health System, World Wide Village and the University of Notre Dame have continued to send new teams of medical and surgical personnel to Leogane, Haiti every week, along with more than 10 tons of medical supplies and equipment, food, and shelter.

During one of the organization's missions to Haiti, InterVol volunteers founded the Leogane Track Club, which provides daily exercise for several hundred local children who range in age from seven to their early teens.  Club members depart from the St. Croix field hospital, in which volunteers are based, at 4:30 each afternoon for a run through the local countryside, winding their way through farmland and sugarcane fields to the ocean for a swim, and back.  This group has become quite popular with the local children, who line up eagerly waiting for the adults to lead them, as well as with local community members, who routinely offer encouragement as the group runs along.  However, only a small percentage of the children actually have running shoes, with most running in worn out sandals and some in bare feet.

InterVol is partnering with Constellation Brands and Rochester General Health System (RGHS) once again to help the children of Haiti, this time to collect running shoes to benefit members of the Leogane Track Club, as well as the larger community. Both companies are hosting collection drives for employees to support this important cause. Constellation Brands is also donating chartered jet services to bring healthcare professionals, Constellation representatives and the donated shoes for distribution to the children of Leogane on Sunday, June 20, 2010. And local graphics company, KB Graphics, has agreed to donate 200 t-shirts to the Track Club.

If you would like to contribute to the purchase of track shirts, running shoes and socks for the children, please call InterVol at (585) 922-5810 or visit our website at www.intervol.org.  Please indicate that your donation is for the Leogane Track Club.

InterVol's work has focused on Leogane, a town located 18 miles west of Port-au-Prince and even closer to the epicenter of the earthquake.  The quake resulted in the destruction of 80-90% of the town's structures. As of March 18th, the St. Croix Field Hospital had registered over 15,000 patient visits and performed more than 500 surgical procedures.

Since January 12, the entire Rochester community has served as the foundation of the support InterVol has been able to offer in response to the earthquake.  Constellation Brands provided charter jet services for four trips to Haiti, RGHS contributed thousands of pounds of medical supplies, local vendors donated food and other supplies, and hundreds of volunteers gave their time to get the materials ready to ship – with some even traveling to Haiti themselves.  Other Rochester groups such as The Pike Company, Ultrafab, The Rochester General Physician's Organization, The Stonisch Foundation and many others made generous financial gifts to purchase medical supplies and equipment to bring to Leogane.

As InterVol works to sustain the field hospital and transition the facility to Haitian administration, the organization is also extending its efforts into the Leogane community.  Volunteers are providing support to the Lamb Center, a local orphanage destroyed by the earthquake which housed, educated and fed 70 children.  

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