Good Progress Being Made

It’s been several weeks since our last update, but things have been moving along well, and we’ve made some real progress.

One of the most exciting developments is that Air Canada has donated enough frequent-flyer points for Boun Lod and her parents to fly from Vientiane to Cincinnati return, and to make three round-trip flights from Cincinnati to Philadelphia. (Boun Lod, Via, and Noy will stay with relatives in Philadelphia between surgeries.) This is a tremendous help, and we’re grateful for Air Canada’s very generous assistance.

We’re also continuing to receive many generous donations and pledges, including an extraordinary pledge of $10,000 from an individual who prefers to remain anonymous.

The total of all the cash pledges and donations we’ve received to date is around $15,000, putting us about halfway to our goal.

On August 21, Cathy, Nin, and I spoke about Lao and Boun Lod at the Pincher Creek Rotary Club’s luncheon meeting. Individuals at the meeting donated several hundred dollars on the spot, and the club has agreed to donate the proceeds of its Oktoberfest celebration to the Boun Lod fund. Let us know if you’d like tickets for the October 3 dinner and dance.

The September 5, 2008 issue of the Pincher Creek Echo has a story about Boun Lod and our fundraising efforts. You can see the story on-line at http://pinchercreekecho.com/Community/417231.html. (I’m not sure how long the link will remain active.)

We also understand that the Lao fundraising events, including a walkathon and a raffle, are getting underway.

One piece of not-so-good news is that our application to the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission for a raffle license was turned down. The folks at the commission said they really wanted to grant us a license but there were several difficulties including that raffle funds are not supposed to benefit an individual, and that a group’s executive officers are supposed to be democratically elected. (Cathy and I are the de-facto “executive” of the Boun Lod fund, but nobody elected us!)

This leaves us with a couple of lovely donated raffle prizes, but no way to raffle them off. We’re putting on our collective thinking caps to try and come up with a legal way to make use of these generously donated prizes.

On the medical side, Boun Lod’s first scheduled appointment in Cincinnati is on October 31. She should be admitted on November 9, with her first surgery the next day. We’ll book the flights to Cincinnati in the next day or two, and plan to have them arrive sometime between the 27th and the 29th of October.

Last week, Via and Noy had their visa interview with the US Embassy in Vientiane. The Embassy requested more financial information, which we’ve provided, and we’re hopeful the visas will be issued shortly.

Thanks to all of you that have already made donations, or have assisted in other ways. And for those of you who haven’t helped out yet, it’s certainly not too late! We still have another $15,000 to go.

 

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