Pelham Rotary Charities Fund is donating $15,000 from the Pelham 2019 Tastings fundraiser to a Gift of Life program to provide life saving heart surgeries to 25 Lebanese children and 22 Syria refugee children.

With the $15,000 donation, plus the $7,500 match from The Rotary Foundation, the GOL program is now fully funded at $227,500. GOL had received grants from other Rotary groups and individuals prior to Pelham's donation.

A Gift of Life official said there are currently more than 100 Lebanese children on the waiting list for heart surgery. He added: "Sadly, there is a lack of funding available causing surgeries to be put on hold which results in children dying before they receive treatment. It is unclear as to how many refugee children are suffering from heart disease in Middle Eastern countries. However, based on the data that congenital heart disease is the number one birth defect worldwide with 1.3 million children born annually with a heart defect and 93% of them having no access to adequate care, we can only estimate that the numbers are shocking. Additionally, providing care to Syrian Refugee children will not only heal their hearts but demonstrate a message of peace and love which is currently lacking in their lives and the lives of their families."

Pelham Charities Fund, a non profit arm of Rotary Club of the Pelhams, has donated between $10,000 to $15,000 per year for the past 8 years to the international Gift of Life program. In addition, Pelham Rotarians have hosted youngsters from foreign countries while they have heart surgeries in the United States.

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