St. Croix residents with diabetes will be getting a sweet dose of care on Nov. 12, when the St. Croix Lions Club holds its 13th Annual Diabetes Health Fair thanks to a $25,000 donation from Hovensa, L.L.C. The donation was given to the St. Croix Lions Club Tuesday afternoon in front of the Hovensa Administration Building.
The fair, which will be held at the St. Croix Majorettes Headquarters in Peter’s Rest, is a chance for the Lions Club to help treat a large number of people in the territory with diabetes. Diabetes Committee Chairman Lucien Downes with the St. Croix Lions Club said that he was grateful that Hovensa was able to donate so much.
“So many people in the territory have diabetes and they don’t know they have it, so this will give us a chance to keep educating them so they can make the lifestyle changes they need to survive,” Downes said.
The Lions Club expects to see a large increase in the number of residents taking advantage of the health fair due in part to the absence of the CareForce health program in the territory this year.
“The community has told us that our diabetic health fair fills a void that assists the less fortunate in our community,” Downes said. “We are very grateful that HOVENSA has been able to help with the cost of our program this year as we anticipate needing more equipment, supplies, and volunteers.”
Downes added that the cost of putting the fair on this year will be approximately $50,000, and that they are still seeking additional donations for the event, and for many other services they provide to the community each year.
“Today is our 45th anniversary, and it’s a very special day to us; with this funding we can continue to help the St. Croix community as we’ve been doing for the last 15 years,” Downes said.
Brian Lever, president of Hovensa, L.L.C., was there with several others from the Hovensa leadership team to present the check to the members of the Lions Club.
“At HOVENSA we’ve always been committed to the health, safety, and welfare of our community,” Lever said. “The Lions have really stepped up their efforts this year to help so many unfortunate individuals suffering from diabetes and we are proud to be a part of their effort through this monetary donation and through the many volunteers at our refinery who will be part of this worthwhile event.”
The St. Croix Lions Club Diabetes Health Fair is conducted in partnership with the Frederiksted Twin Cities Lions Club, and will be supported by personnel from the People United for a Better Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Medical Institute, and the University of the Virgin Islands Nursing Program.
The St. Croix Lions Club was chartered in 1966, and is one of 46,000 clubs, which has a worldwide membership of 1.35 million. In addition to its efforts toward conquering blindness, the organization has made a strong commitment to community service and helping youth throughout the world.
On St. Croix, the Lions Club provides many needed community services alone and in partnership with other organizations.
Some of the programs provided by the Lions Club include a school vision screening program, a diabetes program that works in the government-owned housing communities throughout the island, White Cane Safety Day each October, and working with the seniors at the Herbert Grigg Home for the Aged.
HOVENSA is a joint venture of Hess Corporation and Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) subsidiaries, and operates a 350,000 bbl/day refinery on St. Croix.
To learn more about Lions Clubs International, visit www.lionsclubs.org. Individuals or organizations interested in donating funds or volunteering should contact the Lions Club at 340-719-4229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.