Two Augusta Rotary Clubs joined forces and presented a check on Thursday that will help a charitable organization continue its missionary work in the Dominican Republic

The Downtown Augusta and Augusta West Rotary Clubs partnered to present a $10,000 check to Rick and Isabella Piña.

The Piñas created RIPMinistries to provide an education to orphan children from Haiti who are now living in the Dominican Republic.

The funds will go to support the school they created to both teach, train and feed these children.

The presentation was conducted virtually with the Augusta Rotarians at West Lake Country Club and Mr. Piña via video conference from the Dominican Republic.  

Mr. Piña showed photographs of the school they've built in the Dominican Republic.  He stated that they still needed $30,000 to complete the project and that the donation from the Rotary Clubs would go a long way toward helping them reach their goal. He also showed photos of some of the Haitian children benefiting from the missionary work. 

Welton Chase, the Augusta West Rotary Club President, conducted the virtual presentation.  Later he reflected on the images Mr. Piña showed, "What I saw in those photographs was hope.  We’re giving them hope. Hope at a life that’s better. Hope at an opportunity to do something with their lives and make a positive impact on the world.”

The 2021 theme for Rotary International is Serve to Change Lives.  Chase remarked that Thursday's donation supports the Rotary mission, “Rotary is all designed to serve and change lives and to serve something greater than yourself. So this fits right in line with what we do as Rotarians.  And what we do in the community here locally and now internationally.”

Currently, RIPMinistries is helping 170 children and plans to grow that to more than 200.