Leaving communities better than when you found them is an adage that is exemplified by Dick Phoebus, our July 2019 Volunteer of the Month. Dick joined the AdventHealth Sharing Smiles team on a Cleft Lip and Palate mission trip to Villahermosa, Mexico. As a member of the Rotary Club, he has an interest in humanitarian work and community impact.
During his remarks of the trip Dick stated, “Usually during a person’s life or career there’s something that hits them to say what we are doing is really worthwhile. I had that moment on my first Cleft Lip and Palate Trip with AdventHealth Sharing Smiles to Villahermosa. When I saw those kids, and a day later saw the work that the surgeons had done, I knew in my heart that their lives were immediately changed.”
The goal of the mission trip is to provide free corrective surgery and rehabilitation therapy to children born with a cleft lip or palate and to equip local caregivers with the tools and knowledge they need to ensure the smiles last. During the trip, Dick helped with coordination efforts with the local rotary club and family care for those there to support the patients.
Dick, a veteran and retired community banker, has an innate trait and skill to serve others, which is evident through his service in the United States Army and Army National Guard. He has also served his community, both in Florida and Maryland, through board service with various education, health care and community organizations. Currently he is a board member of Rotary Club of the Villages and is a member of its foundation board as well.
We are truly thankful for Dick’s service and the care and compassion he has shown to children and their families in Mexico. Through corrective surgery and rehabilitation, the quality of life for these children has greatly increased and it is a true honor and blessing to have had Dick apart of the process.