On New Year’s Day, 74-year-old Dick Wagner passed away in Lyons, Wisconsin
USA. Most Belizeans may not recognize the name but have benefitted from
programs Wagner and his wife Bobbie initiated while in Belize. John Woods
told us more about Wagner’s contributions to Belize.

John Woods – CEO, Kolbe Foundation
“Dick Wagner I think first came to Belize in the early 80s and he was
instrumental with Wings of Hope in setting up that first emergency flight
airplane and then he got involved and got the ambulances in and was very
instrumental in the setting up of BERT, buying the building and supporting
it up at the start. We were on the BERT board together and when I got
involved in Kolbe he was very excited about that and wanted to see it. He
visited the prison in 2001 or so and he was horrified that the children
were in the same facility as the adults and so he gave us the money to fund
the Wagner’s Youth Facility that has the kids handled differently than the
adults in prison. He was a major supporter of many programs in the prison.
Both of them have grown into tremendous operations, BERT did over 4,000
ambulance calls during 2011 and the change in the security at the prison
and the change in the rehab is largely in part to Dick Wagner so we’ve
really lost a friend, the country of Belize has lost a friend.”

The couple recently funded initial efforts by Medical College of
Wisconsin’s Global Health Program to Strengthen Emergency Care in Belize,
disaster preparedness and response, inter-facility transport of ill and
injured patients, pediatric acute and critical care, and injury prevention
and control via collaborative efforts with Ministry of Health, KHMH and