• Winner: WINNER
  • Date: 2/1/2020
  • Rotary Year: 2019-2020
  • Award Category: Club Partnership Service
  • Club NameChristiansburg-Blacksburg
  • Member First NameLes Myers, Awards Committee Chair
  • Address: 
    1400 Woodside Terrace
    Blacksburg, VA 24060
    United States View on Map
  • Email: lesmyers33@gmail.com
  • Brief Description: 
    The Rotary Club of Christiansburg-Blacksburg and the Rotary Club of Blacksburg joined in a collaboration, as International Sponsors, to develop a Global Rotary Foundation Grant to support the Hope to Walk Foundation’s work in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. With the addition of the Rotary Club of Tegucigalpa, Honduras as the Host Sponsor, in 2019 the three clubs jointly received a Rotary Foundation Global Grant Award for $50,000 to develop and implement a “Hope Center” designed to enhance and support the work of the Hope to Walk Foundation (http://hopetowalk.org). Hope to Walk was founded by Phil Johnson, a Blacksburg prosthetist, and Mike Mabry, a student, at the time, at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic in Blacksburg, Virginia (now a Medical Resident in Tennessee). Phil Johnson developed a prosthetic leg for below the knee amputees that can be manufactured in Honduras for $100, and an above the knee device that costs about $200. So far, more than 300 people in Tegucigalpa, Honduras have been fitted with new legs at no cost to the patients. Other cooperating organizations include the JMA Baxter Clinic in Tegucigalpa (clinic facilities) and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (medical expertise). The objective of the grant to our Clubs is to help the clinic in Tegucigalpa become a ”Hope Center” enabling independent and certified local personnel to construct, fit, and maintain prosthetic legs. Hope to Walk wants to expand to other countries where there is great need for its services. The “Hope Center” model is designed to become the template for expansion into other countries. Using certification procedures developed and implemented under the project several local workers in Honduras have been trained to manufacture the prostheses and health professionals have been certified to fit them to patients. The grant has also paid for the materials to construct 150 artificial legs. There is an enormous need for prosthetic limbs in third world countries where people cannot possibly afford $5000 for a prosthesis. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 36 million people needing artificial limbs worldwide who have little hope of ever receiving one. Our project in support of Hope to Walk is the start of what we expect to be a much larger effort in many countries to meet this need. Rotary has a vital part to play in this expansion.

  • Participation of Club Members: 
    The project was created and is managed by a Task Force with members from the Rotary Clubs of Christiansburg-Blacksburg and Blacksburg as the International Sponsors. Task Force members from the Christiansburg-Blacksburg Rotary Club are Don Mullins, John Austin, Les Myers and Tim Pratt. From the Blacksburg Rotary Club, Task Force members are Peter Weimerskirch and Christy Brown. The Task Force represents about four percent of the combined membership of the two Clubs, but all the members of both Clubs have been involved in raising $18,000 matching funds for the “Hope Center” grant. Eduardo Gonzalez is Club President the Rotary Club of Tegucigalpa, Honduras which raised an additional $2,000. Hope to Walk officers and one of their amputees have made presentations to the Clubs to update progress with the project. The project is on-going, with Club members monitoring grant activities and visiting the Baxter Clinic in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where Hope to Walk operates its clinic. The Task Force continues to work on the next Rotary grant proposal that would expand the “Hope Centers” into Guatemala and/or other countries.
  • Resulting Benefits: 
    Our “Hope Center” grant is helping poor people in Honduras receive prostheses that enable them to lead a normal life, to go to school or work, to earn a living, and to be mobile again. Many amputees in Honduras are relegated to their homes, cannot earn a living and have very poor quality of life. Once fitted with a Hope to Walk prosthesis, they can rejoin society as active and useful members. Our grant is providing training procedures for educating workers in Honduras to manufacture artificial legs and to receive certification to fit them to patients so that the Clinic can become locally self-sustaining.
    An artificial leg costs at least $5000 in the United States; Phil Johnson designed a leg that costs less than $100 that can be constructed locally. People who have had to use crutches for years can be fitted with a Johnson leg and can walk out of the clinic without assistance. Our Global Grant will help many more Hondurans to walk again, and also pave the way for Rotary to help millions more as the goal of establishing “Hope Centers” in other countries is realized with subsequent grants.

    No Rotary video is available at this time however Hope to Walk photos and videos are available at http://hopetowalk.org

  • 1st Supporting Document: