All our Directors are elected and committed volunteers. They donate generously of their time and resources. They are responsible for their own expenses while travelling to and in Honduras.
Mike Balahura – President
Mike is our chief fundraiser and primary spokesperson for the organization. He makes presentations to Rotary Clubs in the Kootenays, the Okanagan region and on Vancouver Island, even travelling to clubs in Washington state. He oversees the operations of the Board of Directors.
Mike is a retired School Principal currently working as a curriculum consultant to the Department of Education and the University of British Columbia. He is past-president and member of the Castlegar Sunrise Rotary Club. He is seen here with one of the “market kids”.
Gwen Telling – Vice President
Gwen coordinates our programs in Santa Barbara and has been working closely with members of the Santa Barbara Rotary Club for more than 12 years.
She is a CGA and retired manger of JH Huscroft, a Cresotn Valley sawmill started by her grandfather in 1927.
She is owner/manager of Piper Farm, and is a member of the Creston Rotary Club.
Brenda Balahura – Secretary
Heather More – Treasurer & Director of Student Services
Heather is our Treasurer, and maintains the data base of sponsors and students, doing her best to ensure that every sponsor gets certificates and photos of their kids.
She is Past-President and member of the Rotary Club of Creston. Because of her work in Honduras, The Rotary Club of San Miguel de Heredia in Tegucigalpa made her an honorary member of their club, even before she became a Rotarian at home. She studied International Political Economy, specializing in trade with China and economic development.
Chris Chart – Director
Chris has been a member of the Nelson Noon Rotary club for ten years, and a member of the club’s International Committee for almost as long. The Market Children programs run by Help Honduras are a particular passion of his, and together with Help Honduras Director Elaine Beaulac he runs the club Market Child sponsorship drive every fall. Chris’s first career was as a mining technician in Northern Canada, following which he trained as a veterinarian at the University of Saskatchewan. He worked in several parts of BC, Alberta and the UK before settling in Nelson in 1992. He recently retired from active practice and now volunteers for various organizations.
Sharon Docksteader – Director
Sharon is a past-president and member of the Grand Forks Rotary Club. She worked as a lab and x-ray tech for over thirty years and is owner of Boundary Industries Ltd.
She loves taking pictures of the kids in Honduras as she gets so many hugs.
Chris Dysart – Director
Chris is a retired business owner and member and Past- President and member of the Victoria Harbourside Rotary Club. She has been involved with HELP Honduras since 2011 and has a keen interest in the Business & Skills Training program and the School Gardens program. She maintains the website, receives donations, prepares the financial statements and issues tax receipts.
Bill Feyrer – Director
Bill is a Past President and member of Victoria Harbourside Rotary club since 1983. He has attended a number of Rotary Uniendos America conferences in Central America since 2006 and traveled to Honduras most years subsequently to review projects the Harbourside Club has sponsored in Comayagua and Tegucigalpa.
He started collaborating with Ron Ross and Don Kaminsky in 2010 to draft applications for Rotary Foundation Global Grants to train impoverished women working in the markets and communities in financial literacy, business, and entrepreneurship. He has been driving this program with Rotary Grants for 10 years.
Outside of Rotary, he had a number of careers and retired from a position as a sales engineer for a company that made sawmill machinery. He is a director of the Vancouver Island Trail Assn that is building an 800 km hiking trail from Victoria to the north tip of Vancouver Island. He has a keen interest in International affairs.
David Morley – Director
David is a member of the Cranbrook Rotary club, and has been involved with Central American Rotary projects for many years. Until his retirement Dave was Operations Manager for 25 years at Fort Steele Heritage Town and since retirement has become moderately competent in the Spanish language. A graduate of both agricultural college and BCIT, prior to his work at Fort Steele Dave worked as a mining technologist in mining exploration and underground surveying. Dave is also a board member of the Cranbrook Railway Museum.
Elaine Ross – Honourary Director
Elaine and her late husband Ron Ross were the founders of HELP Honduras, and it was their passion and purpose for many years. Together they traveled to Tegucigalpa each year to take pictures of the kids, and meet with the Rotarian’s and the AyO staff who implemented the program. They rallied support for the project in Canada, and Elaine took care of the student records. Elaine is a member of the Castlegar Sunrise Rotary Club and remains on the Board as a valuable contributor.
Elaine Beaulac – Director Elaine is a member of the Nelson Rotary Club and works with Chris Chart in coordinating donations and assigning students to members of that club. She is also our Membership Chair.
These members of HELP Honduras, while not currently serving on the Board, are actively involved and key contributors to our operations.
Maureen Duncan – Victoria
Maureen is retired as CEO of the United Way of Victoria after 27 years of service. She is member and past-president of the Rotary Club of Victoria Harbourside and is very active in the International Committee. She served as a Director of HELP Honduras for two years, before resigning in 2019. Her commitment to HELP Honduras remains constant, being part of the team who goes to Honduras many years, and is the HELP “Angel” who campaigns for donations to the Market Kids Program in her Rotary club.
Madelaine (Mandy) Hicks – Kelowna
Mandy is a retired chartered accountant who lives in the Okanagan. She has been a member of the Rotary Club of Kelowna – Ogopogo since April 1st, 1998. Although she joined Rotary on April Fools Day, Mandy has never considered the decision to join Rotary “foolish”. Mandy quickly joined the International Committee of the Ogopogo Rotary Club and has been the primary District and Global Grant writer for her club ever since.
Work in Honduras has been a major focus for the Ogopogo club since the late 1990’s. Mandy has been the lead contact for three Rotary Foundation Global Grants focused on the Early Childhood Stimulation and Caregiver Training in Honduras, and is lead contact on the current District Grant for Early Childhood Stimulation and Caregiver Training in Nueva Capital.
Mandy is one of the Help Honduras “Angels” campaigning clubs in the Okanagan for donations to help sponsor students through Help Honduras.
Jean Edge-Partington – Creston
Jean, together with her husband John, were long-time dairy farmers in the Creston Valley when they first became interested in the Rotary projects in Honduras in 2012.
Since then they joined other Rotarians in contributing to the building of schools in the mountain villages around Santa Barbara, sponsoring students through scholarships, and for several years took band instruments for the secondary school, as well as medications and newborn baby clothes for the hospital. John passed away in 2017, and Jean continues to help Hondurans and to be part of the international program of the Creston Rotary Club where she became a member in 2018. She visits Honduras most years, and studying Spanish has become one of her passions.
Richard Kasperski – Creston
Richard is the person in any organization everyone loves – he is our “techy” and helps find solutions to our communications and technology problems. He is a member of the Creston Rotary Club and has travelled to Honduras with the team many times.