Club Meeting on 3 April 2012

Post date: 30-Mar-2012 02:43:50

Date & Time: Tuesday, 3 April 2012, 1pm-2pm

(Registration starts at 12.45pm)

Place: The Hong Kong Bankers Club

43/F Gloucester Tower, The Landmark, Central, Hong Kong

"The Smile Trek " by

Sergeant Winston Fiore

US Marine

About Sergeant Winston Fiore

Twenty-six year old US Marine Corps Sergeant Winston Fiore was born Indiana to French immigrants. After finishing high school, he joined AmeriCorps, America’s voluntary national service program seeking to make a difference in American education, public safety, health and environment – before joining the Marines. In 2007, his Marine Corps battalion spent three weeks training in Senegal, where his eyes were first opened. As a middle-class American, the sight of children scavenging through garbage and women carrying water on their heads for great distances was a rude awakening. Amid the poverty and cultural differences that surrounded his experience there, Fiore found himself inspired to make global changes — in his own way. After returning from duty in Afghanistan last year, Winston decided to form his own charity project and then embarked on a 5,000-mile walk through Southeast Asia in an effort to raise funds and awareness for facial-reconstructive surgeries in the developing world. This young American is setting a fine example and volunteering his time and energy and feet to help people less fortunate than he in other parts of the world. Come meet Sergeant Fiore at lunch on 3 April 2012, next Tuesday.

About “The Smile Trek”

After returning home from a training mission abroad with his Marine battalion, Winston’s father showed him a newspaper article about a surgeon who had given up his lucrative career to devote himself to providing free facial reconstructive surgeries, most of which are cleft lip/palate repairs, to children in developing countries, the cost of which remains out of reach for most families. The article was a call-to-action for this young Marine. Winston feels that no child should grow up feeling ashamed of what he or she looks like, and every child should be afforded the chance to smile.

After spending seven-months in dangerous Helmand province, Afghanistan, nobody would have blamed Winston for kicking back and relaxing following his trip into the combat zone. However, he had other plans.

In September 2011, Winston began his 5,000-mile walk through Southeast Asia. His route takes his through eight different countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Philippines, and Brunei. The yearlong trek is an effort to raise awareness and funds to support the International Children's Surgical Foundation which works to change the lives of children in the developing world by providing free corrective surgery to children suffering with correctable deformities and by teaching and training local doctors to adequately care for their own patients.

At its heart, the Smile Trek is simply one young man’s ability to synthesize realizing a personal dream with positively affecting a global reality. It is an effort to learn more about the world, and give back to it at the same time.

Winston’s been bitten by a soi dog in Thailand, eaten some strange foods along the journey, and is slowly walking his way towards Hanoi. He has presented at nearly fifty Rotary Clubs across the US to get the word out about this project. Please join us on 3 April 2012 to see his photos and hear his stories about the unusual things one learns on a year-long walk through the developing world.

A quick tour of:

Route through the region:

List of Rotary Clubs that Winston has presented at so far:

List of Rotary Clubs who have sponsored one child's surgery for $240:

Press page with articles, radio broadcasts, and news videos:

Guests and Visiting Rotarians are always most welcome at our weekly luncheons.

(Please register online in advance)

Lunch Cost : HK$300 (by cash) / HK$310 (by credit card)

to be collected at the doo