Jennifer Martin, the Director of Development at Shriners Hospital for Children of Shreveport, spoke to the Leesville Rotary Club about the incredible history of growth and care which Shriners Hospitals has enjoyed over the last century.

The Shriners Hospital of Shreveport was the first facility built by Shriners.

Martin shared that while many individuals are aware of some of the diagnoses treated at Shriners-Shreveport, like cerebral palsy and spina bifida, most people are not aware the hospital treats patients with diagnoses such as scoliosis, fractures and orthopedic injuries and cleft lip and palate.

Martin reiterated that even though Shriners Hospitals for Children now takes insurance, "No family is required to pay for the care they receive."

She also expressed that because care at Shriners Hospital is specialized, it is no longer a requirement that one is able to afford the care to qualify. Regardless of the presence or lack of financial ability, any child up to age 18 years, qualifying by diagnosis, may receive care.

Martin is also the current President of the Rotary Club of South Shreveport.

Additionally, several Leesville Rotarians were honored as Paul Harris Fellows during the meeting.  

Quintella Thibodeaux received her first Paul Harris Fellowship.

Christine Osteen received her second Paul Harris Fellowship. Both received lapel pins to illustrate these honors.

“The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.” Leesville Rotary President Brenda Willis explained. “It was established in 1957 to show appreciation for and encourage substantial contributions to what was then the Foundation’s only program, Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study, the precursor to Ambassadorial Scholarships.”  
The club also discussed their annual school backpack and supply donation drive.  

Members of the club donated items for the drive which were separated, organized and packed for delivery.

Members will bring the donations to various Vernon Parish school counselors to be provided, anonymously, to students who are in need.

The Rotary Club of Leesville is an organization that serves the Vernon Parish community through various events and contributions every year.

Rotary Club of Leesville meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Holiday Inn, 122 Express Blvd. in Leesville.

Anyone interested in being a speaker or becoming a member should log onto www.leesvillerotaryclub.org for more information.

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Editor’s note: To make a referral or to discuss whether one may qualify for treatment at Shriners Hospital of Shreveport, individuals may call 1-800-830-0606.