The annual Boone Area Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast was held Tuesday, Feb. 28, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Marthasville. The proceeds from the breakfast support the Washington …
The annual Boone Area Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast was held Tuesday, Feb. 28, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Marthasville. The proceeds from the breakfast support the Washington Overseas Medical and Dental Mission to Honduras.
Dr. Tim Long provided an update to the ongoing mission which serves the people of Honduras. Long said because of the COVID pandemic, an actual team has not visited in three years, but this year they are going back. St. Ignatius students recently helped load a trailer with medical and dental supplies that will depart on March 12 for Honduras.
“It’s a humbling experience,” said Long. “Having your own toothbrush or bar of soap is a luxury there. We are so fortunate here.”
Long said there are more than 4,000 Honduran children that have no dental care and the pandemic has made it even worse. Dr. Jacqueline Miller, a retired Washington orthodontist, will head up the dental team and expect to be performing thousands of fluoride treatments as part of the team’s goal.
Another focus is women’s care. Dr. Kelly Bain will accompany the team this year, looking to the needs of the women of the country. Pap smears and general women’s health will be her focus. If a patient needs further care, such as a biopsy, hysterectomy or is found to have cancer, the team will be able to follow up on that patient’s health.
“We also always have special cases,” said Long. “For example, there is a 16-year-old with a large tumor in her breast. We will be able to continue her care beyond our visit.”
Long said during the pandemic, the Overseas Mission sent eight 40-foot trailers to the area with supplies. The team this year will consist of three doctors, a nurse and nine members of the dental team. The dental team will focus on extractions, fillings and education, teaching the children the proper way to clean their teeth.
Hundreds of toothbrushes and other toiletries have been donated by area Catholic schools, including St. Ignatius, St. Vincents and Lourdes.
Joe Gildehaus, presiding commissioner of Warren County, provided an update regarding activity around the county. There was a long list of upgrades, new road construction and meetings with coordinating agencies.
Agencies he regularly meets with include local mayors, Boonslick Regional Planning, MoDOT, the county extension center, planning and zoning, the county economic council, recycling, insurance and transportation meetings, to name a few.
He shared a variety of interesting facts about Warren County, whose population is now 37,000 according to a 2022 census estimate. The median home price is $190,000, with the average income of $68,000.
“There are a lot of changes in the county,” said Gildehaus. “We have an engineer now who evaluated every road, which took a year to complete. We are now crack-sealing our roadways after paving, but it will take a while to catch up.”
Gildehaus said solar power is being planned in the northern part of Warren County on a 4,000-acre location. Gateway Fiber was awarded $26.4 million to bring better internet service to areas like Lake Sherwood, Highway O in Marthasville and areas north of I-70. He said $6.8 million was awarded through ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds, of which some were provided to an area sheltered workshop.
He reported American Foods Group will be opening a beef processing plant between Wright City and Foristell, employing 1,300 people. The county has also received a $7.7 million grant for a roadway near the plant.
Gildehaus addressed several questions from the visitors to the breakfast regarding the possibility of a technical school in the area, Augusta Bottom Road, and tourism concerns.
“I love what I do,” he said. “I don’t consider myself to be a politician and I’m learning something new every day.”
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