Posted by Bob Wicks on Nov 24, 2015
Rotarian Bob Arsenault recently returned from a Rotaplast mission in the Philippines. 
The Amesbury Rotary Club sponsored a medical mission to the Philippines through Rotaplast International, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco.  One hundred and twenty two surgical procedures were performed on patients in Cebu City to repair cleft lips, cleft palates, and dental work for patients ranging in age from three months to thirty five years.  All medical treatment was free of charge to patients, many of whom travelled up to six hours to the hospital.  Medical Director Evelyn Abad explained, "Often children and adults with these deformities are shunned by their community.  We give them a second chance to smile."
The medical team consisted of eight non-medical volunteers from Rotary Clubs in the Greater Boston area as well as a team of surgeons, anaesthesiologist, nurses and Rotarians from California, Washington, Hawaii, and South Dakota.  Among the non-medical volunteers was Bob Arsenault of Ipswich Rotary.  Donating time, talent, and a bit of money for airfare, Arsenault served as the Quartermaster for the two-week trip. 
As Quartermaster, Bob handled the logistics of all supplies to and from the site.  He joined this mission to give back to those less fortunate, but still was surprised to see how little some of the locals had.  He was inspired by the unwavering love the parents showed for their children with birth defects.  Having experienced first-hand this powerful resource for change, Bob is committed to focusing on Rotary’s global mission of providing sustainable health care to children and families.
Ipswich Rotary President Bob Gravino congratulated Bob and the other members of the club whose financial contributions helped make this mission possible.  “The Rotaplast medical mission to the Philippines was an opportunity for Ipswich Rotarians to help children have a normal life, free from the societal and life altering problems associated with facial deformities.”
To learn more about Rotaplast, and to see photos and videos of the medical mission, visit and click on "2015 Rotaplast Mission" under the Club Information section.