Rally for Rabies Fundraiser Set for March 29-30


rachel clark coordinating rabies certificates during one Malawian rabies vaccination clinic.

The Community Health Coalition (CHC) will be hosting its second annual Rally for Rabies tennis tournament March 29-30, 2019. The tournament will be held at The Boulevard Tennis Club, located at 1620 Boulevard Village Lane in Vero Beach. The fee for entering the tournament is $50 for each team of two players. Register by calling The Boulevard Tennis Club at (772) 778-4200.

 The thrilling finals matches are set for Saturday, March 30, from 4-7 p.m., with free admission for all adult spectators and children. At this family-friendly event, attendees can participate in the silent auction, raffles, games and a children’s tennis clinic. A casual buffet will be available to all guests at $12 for adults and $10 for children. All funds raised from the tournament, silent auction, food sales and raffle will directly support rabies eradication and education in the African nation of Malawi via mass dog vaccination clinics and public education. 

Rally for Rabies is an event created by Community Veterinary Clinic veterinarian John Clark and his wife Rachel, founders of the nonprofit organization Community Health Coalition (CHC). A native of Malawi, Dr. Clark recognized the need to save the lives of humans and animals throughout Africa, a region still considered to be a rabies “hotspot” where thousands of people die each year usually after coming into contact with infected dogs. Since2016, the Clarks have traveled from Vero Beach to Malawi each year to vaccinate Malawian dogs in order to protect citizens, pets and wildlife in the small African nation. Working this summer with volunteers from both the U.S. and Malawi, the Clarks have set a goal of vaccinating 40,000 Malawian dogs in just four weeks as part of the CHC’s “Knockout Rabies” campaign.

Rabies is a deadly virus that kills approximately 59,000 people around the globe yearly. Victims typically live in developing countries and lack access to expensive life-saving treatments. Most victims tend to be children who become infected after being bitten by street dogs. Left untreated, rabies is almost always fatal and causes tremendous suffering to its human and animal victims. Vaccinating the Malawian dog population is the fastest, most affordable method of protecting people and animals.

Event sponsors include: The Boulevard Tennis Club, Counter Culture, Kenyan Airways and Ulendo Safaris.

Community Health Coalition is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization created by the Clarks and is dedicated to ending human and animal suffering, with its primary focus being rabies eradication through vaccination and education. For more information about the CHC’s Knockout Rabies campaign, visitknockoutrabies.org.

Rally for Rabies Tennis Tournament at a Glance

Date: March 29-30, 2019

 Location: The Boulevard Tennis Club, 1620 Boulevard Village Lane, Vero Beach

 Event: Tennis tournament Fundraiser

 Player Registration: $50 per team. Call The Boulevard Tennis Club at (772) 778-4200

 Player and Sponsor Private Reception: Friday, March 29 from 6-9 at The Boulevard Tennis Club

 Finals Matches, Fundraiser and Family Funfest: Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 4-7 p.m. FREE Admission to spectators and children

 Finals Match and Public Fundraiser Food: $12 for adults, $10 children

 Background: Rally for Rabies supports the Community Health Coalition’s “Knockout Rabies” campaign which serves to eradicate rabies through vaccination and education, with a focus on the African nation of Malawi. The CHC is a nonprofit organization founded by veterinarian John Clark and his wife Rachel. Dr. Clark and his family live in Vero Beach, Florida where they own Community Veterinary Clinic.

Rabies Facts

·         Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus that’s transmitted by saliva

·         The virus typically travels from wound site up the victim’s central nervous system and attacks the brain

·         Rabies is 99% fatal once symptoms appear

·         Rabies kills more than 59,000 people around the world, with most living in developing countries. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

·         Ninety-nine percent of human rabies deaths are caused by contact with infected dogs (Source: World Health Organization)

·         Treatment involves washing the wound with soap and water and receiving immediate post-bite rabies and immunoglobin vaccinations known as “post exposure prophylaxis” (PEP) to build rabid immunity

·         Most human victims contract rabies through bites that break the skin however in some circumstances rabies can be transmitted through animal licking or hissing.

·         Forty percent of rabies victims are children younger than 15 (Source: World Health Organization)

·         Globally, there’s one death from rabies approximately every 15 minutes (Source: World Health Organization)

·         Human victims in developing countries often lack access to expensive treatments

·         Physicians in developing countries may lack training in the proper for rabies treatment protocols

·         Clinics and hospitals in developing countries often lack the ability to refrigerate life-saving treatments and animal rabies vaccines, often rendering them ineffective

·         Public health officials in developing countries often encounter resistance to reliable rabies prevention and treatment options due to belief in myths and/or reliance upon traditional and tribal medicine

·         In 2007, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared the canine variant of rabies eradicated in the U.S., however other forms of the virus can be transmitted by wildlife (Reuters, September 7, 2007)


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