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Southampton's Operation International Hopes To Fund Latest Mission At Winter Fundraiser

Nicole Barylski

Operation International, a Southampton-based 501(c) (3) nonprofit, is hosting a Winter Fundraiser on Friday, March 16. Taking place at American Whiskey Restaurant in New York City, the benefit will help fund Operation International's Team New York's upcoming mission.

"Operation International's Team NY is in the final preparations for its upcoming surgical mission to Rakai, Uganda from April 5-18," reflected Dr. Ravi Kothuru of Team NY. "Over the last year, a lot of exciting things have happened with the organization, starting with our rebranding to our new name, Operation International, the re-design and launch of our new website, updates to our social media platforms and addition of a new team Team LA."

During the trip to Uganda, the volunteers will aid both adults and children - patients with complex surgical pathology. Additionally, Team New York will provide supplies to orphans in the area.

"Operation International provides at least seven surgical mission trips around the globe annually, with an emphasis on quality standardized care at no cost to the host countries," Dr. Kothuru explained. "We also teach the local health care professionals newer techniques and provide equipment to do so. None of these things are possible with the support from our generous donors."

The Winter Fundraiser will feature light fare, cocktails, and a silent auction.

Admission is $125, and those that can't make it can also donate online. A donation of $500 would pay for the repair of a child's cleft lip/palate, while a donation of $1,000 would fund corrective surgery for burn victims. A $2,000 donation would pay for life-changing surgery for a cancer patient and a donation of $5,000 would allow for Operation International to donate all of the equipment necessary for an operating room.

Operation International, previously known as International Surgical Mission Support (ISMS), was founded by Medhat Allam, MD; Ravi Kothuru, MD; and Robert Mineo, CRNA, in 1996. The secular, non-political, humanitarian organization was established to provide medical assistance to adults and children in need that reside in over 23 impoverished countries, including Africa, Asia, and South and Central America. Additionally, Operation International provides on-site education and training to local health care workers.

Team New York was established in 1997 during a mission to Haiti. They were among the first surgical teams on the ground following the devastating earthquake disaster in Haiti in 2010. Upon arrival, Team New York has the ability to set up four completely functioning operating rooms with an intensive care unit in less than four hours.

For more information, or tickets to the Winter Fundraiser, visit www.operationinternational.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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