Arkansans doing good around the world | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 18, 2013

Arkansans doing good around the world

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 8:39 AM

lencolaclinton.jpg

Jimmy Bryant, director of the archives at the University of Central Arkansas, sent me a recent addition to his growing collection. It's a nice antidote to obsessing over the self-interest and narrow outlook emanating from the Arkansas State Capitol.

The picture is of former President Bill Clinton with Lencola Sullivan-Verseveldt and her husband, Roel Verseveldt, a businessman in Amsterdam. Sullivan-Verseveldt, a former Miss UCA and the first African-American to be named Miss Arkansas, has given her papers to UCA and regularly sends additional material.

They were all photographed at a charity event for Dutch Postcode Lotterij, a gala at which Clinton was guest of honor. The Dutch lottery has been a supporter of the Clinton Foundation's worldwide efforts since 2005. It recently committed almost $3 million to further expand anti-HIV/AIDS work the Clinton Foundation supports in Tanzania. Appearances by the former president at such events undoubtedly help the Foundation in its fund-raising. And take a look at the Clinton Health Access Initiative for the end result — births of healthy children to HIV mothers in Kenya; a hospital in Rwanda; medical innovations in Mozambique; health services in Malawi.

I should disclose I'm a proud poppa, given a chance to brag by the coincidence of the e-mail from Jimmy this morning. After years in finance, my daughter Martha went over to the charity side and works in New York for the Clinton Foundation, recently on efforts to win German and Dutch support for health projects in Tanzania and Malawi, where she's also been working on a project to encourage microfarmers to grow soybeans. Bill Clinton's presidential years look better all the time, but each month that he continues to build global initiatives such as these is a down payment on a greater legacy.

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