Providing free reconstructive surgery to children and adults for 40 years, ReSurge International will be throwing its Transformations Gala benefit on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton. Lori Bush, 55, who is the event chair, hopes to raise $750,000 for the organization, which operates in 13 countries. For more info on the event, visit www.resurge.org.
Aside from raising funds, what’s the purpose of the gala?
The purpose of the gala is to celebrate the entire concept of what the organization is about and to raise money in the process of doing that. That’s why we call it the Transformations Gala, because the organization does the majority of its work based on the values and kindness of some very talented volunteers in the medical-surgical area.
What has changed with this organization since its inception?
One of the things that ReSurge is about right now is moving beyond its original core, which was general disorders — cleft palates and lips. Recently, the bigger initiative is around this area of burn reconstruction.
Can you tell us a story that you found moving?
On my visit to Nepal, one of the surgeons said it’s the same story. These very young children literally crawl into these open cooking fires and melt their limbs. They’re completely not functional. There was a little boy named Shanta, who is 5 years old. He has never walked on his feet because he experienced these devastating burns. The surgeons in Nepal had already released the contractures and were preparing to do the additional surgery that would allow him to walk.