Oct. 5, 2001
Volume XXXIV, No. 40


Of Note


Local auxiliary raises funds for kidney disease

Photo of check presentation Three members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles present Dr. Arar with $10,000 for the Children's Kidney Research Center. Pictured are (L-R) Sharon Baker, Anita Saldana, Dee Lessire, Gladys Speer, Dr. Mazen Arar, Rachel Graham, Dr. Celia I. Kaye and Juanita Perez.

As a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE), Gladys Speer subscribes to the philosophy of "people helping people." This year her local chapter, Auxiliary 70, wanted to fight kidney disease, and Speer knew the auxiliary could spare a little change. She organized a bowl-a-thon and raised $500 for the UTHSC Children's Kidney Center.

But Speer thought the FOE could do more. She sent the results of her project, along with a grant request, to the Grand Aerie. A few months later, her eagle landed — the organization decided to donate $10,000 to the Health Science Center program. It is the largest donation the Fraternal Order of Eagles has ever made in the state of Texas.

"I'm very proud of this money we raised," Speer said. "Every year we raise funds, and this year, I didn't want to put the money into a national organization but I wanted to put it in a local institution so I would be able to see exactly where the money was going."

The Children's Kidney Center was a perfect match. Center director Dr. Mazen Arar, associate professor in the department of pediatrics, says he'll put the funds to good use.

"Right now, we have four clinical research projects that focus on kidney development," Dr. Arar said. "We can apply this money to our research. We are very thankful." Speer and auxiliary members Rachel Graham and Dee Lessire presented Dr. Arar with their donation on Sept. 19.

The Children's Kidney Center treats children from Corpus Christi to Austin. Fifteen children currently visit the clinic three times a week for dialysis. The clinic also engages in state-of-the art research programs to benefit people with kidney disease throughout the country.