West and South Area

Regional Director’s Message

Happy fall, everyone!  With the change in seasons, we are also ramping up our programs and events for the fall, and we hope you will join us!

Dr. Merlin

In fact, we’ve already been busy the last few weeks.  On September 9, our Associate Board for young professionals hosted a fun appreciation tailgate event at the opening home UW Husky football game.  Last week, NPH supporters and friends in Spokane gathered for a delightful evening with good food, wine, company, and inspiring remarks by Dr. Merlin Antúnez, the Medical Director of NPH Honduras. Northwest Regional Board President Mary Jo Bruckner and her husband Dr. Jim Bruckner also hosted a gathering with Dr. Antúnez for medical professionals in the Seattle area.  Guests at both events learned that Merlin joined the NPH family at age 6 with his two brothers – they were among the first pequeños to arrive at NPH Honduras.  As a boy, Merlin decided he wanted to be a doctor to heal his father, who suffered from Parkinson’s.  With the help of NPH, he was able to study and eventually graduated from university, first as a general physician and in 2013 as an orthopedic surgeon.  Today, Merlin is the Medical Director of the Holy Family Surgery Center at NPH Honduras, and he has two young children of his own.  Merlin shared, “To me NPH has means home and family. The best lessons I was taught in NPH are to love, share and serve those in need. I am a living example that NPH is a real chance for orphan and vulnerable children to achieve their dreams. I know my little brothers and sisters at the NPH home can do it too, with a bit of faith and support from you.”  We are so grateful to Merlin for sharing his experiences and to the hosts and supporters whose generosity will have a tremendous impact on the lives of our children.

We were also thrilled to host an informational session yesterday for donors to learn about how to incorporate planned giving into their philanthropy. NPH donors gathered at the corporate offices of AAA of Washington and heard from several guest speakers, including CEO of Cornerstone Advisors and NPH supporter Ken Hart, NPH International Executive Director Miguel Venegas, and NPH USA VP of Development, Molly Boyum.  It was so informative to learn more about options for strategic giving and leaving a legacy, and we are grateful to the guest speakers, everyone who attended, and the 75 Northwest donors who have already included NPH in their estate plans!

Coming up, please join us for our annual Gala Dinner and Auction on November 4thThis year we’ll be focusing on our university program and are expecting another fun, sold-out evening with wine games, raffle, live auction and an inspiring and accomplished university graduate from NPH Mexico as our keynote speaker.  Brian DiJulio and the Love Jacks will also be back for dancing at our after party. Get your tickets today!

Finally, we are very proud to welcome the 7th cohort of the Seattle InstituteNPH’s leadership development program based in the Northwest. The six emerging leaders from Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia and Guatemala chosen for this year’s program are talented and committed young people who are ready to learn and make an impact at NPH and in our world.  We hope you’ll join us in welcoming them to Seattle – in fact, you can meet them at the Gala on November 4th!  In addition, we are incredibly thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership between NPH USA and Fundación MAPFRE, the charitable foundation of MAPFRE Insurance company, to support this valuable program.  We are so grateful to Fundación MAPFRE for their investment and belief in this vital work to create caring, compassionate, and smart leaders in Latin America.

Enjoy the first few days of fall, and give us a call to say hello or catch up on all that’s happening at NPH. We’d love to hear from you, and we deeply appreciate your support!


Katie Hultquist