For the past 51 years Phoenix-based nonprofit, Advance (formerly Esperança) has provided hope to under-resourced communities around the world through health education, food security programs, access to clean water, ecological home-building and life-altering surgeries.
For the last 10 years, the San Diego bridge community has hosted an annual bridge tournament to raise funds to support the surgical trips of Advance Board Member, Dr. Ray Sachs. This event helps purchase medical equipment and cover the cost of travel that allows Sachs’ and his team to perform life-altering surgeries in places like Ecuador, Nicaragua and Peru.
For the past two years, the tournament has been hosted virtually, allowing the reach to expand and include bridge clubs in Arizona, Advance’s home state. Together, the 2021 event raised a record-breaking $53,000 for Sachs’ future surgical trips with Advance.
With this funding Sachs and his team can perform over 200 complicated, life-transforming surgeries.
“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring support from players, donors, volunteers and especially our Board Member, Dr. Ray Sachs, that contributes to making this event a continued success,” says Jeri Royce, Advance’s President & CEO.
Thanks to the bridge community’s continued support, Sachs’ team alone has been able to perform more than 1,700 surgeries over the years to fix issues such as club feet, hip dysplasia, and other bone, joint and muscle conditions while also providing ongoing education to the local hospital staff.
“I am passionate about delivering health care to those that are most in need,” says Sachs. “As a dedicated member of the San Diego bridge community, their continued support for my medical trips with Advance is invaluable.”
Sachs was recently recognized for his above-and-beyond fundraising efforts by being named the 2021 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Arizona Chapter.