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Mercy Ships Founders Receive Humanitarian of the Year Award From Variety Club
Date:5/6/2009

The founders of the world's largest hospital ship charity were honored with a humanitarian award at a glittering ceremony in London last night.

Garden Valley, TX (PRWEB) May 6, 2009 -- The founders of the world's largest hospital ship charity were honored with a humanitarian award at a glittering ceremony in London last night.

The annual Variety Club International Humanitarian Award, whose previous winners include Sir Winston Churchill and Audrey Hepburn, was given to Don and Deyon Stephens who founded Mercy Ships in 1978.

It was in that year the couple had a dream to find a ship, equip it as a hospital, fill it with volunteer crew and sail round the world providing life saving medical care to the poorest of the poor.

30 years later, Mercy Ships has completed over 560 port visits in 53 developing nations and 17 developed nations providing medical care and humanitarian services valued at more than $748 million, impacting 2.16 million people.

The international charity has treated more than 230,000 people in village medical clinics, performed more than 41,000 operations such as cleft lip and palate, cataract removal, straightening of crossed eyes, orthopaedic and facial reconstruction. They have treated over 79,000 dental patients with more than 206,000 dental procedures performed and completed over 1,058 community development projects focusing on water and sanitation, education, infrastructure development and agriculture.

Speaking about receiving the Humanitarian Award, Don Stephens said, "In challenging economic times which affect us all, the worlds poorest suffer even more. 20% of n
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