11 October 2003
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio)
Serbian Prince, Princess Appeal for Help to Nation's Health System
With their country racked by poverty and the near-collapse of its health system, members of the Royal House of Serbia and Yugoslavia have embarked on a tour to help their struggling homeland.
Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine made Cleveland one of the stops on their month long tour of U.S. cities to raise money and garner donations of medical equipment for the health system.
“We have incredible poverty. People are earning one-third of previous salaries," said Crown Prince Alexander. He said unemployment is 40 percent, much higher than the average 6 or 7 percent for the European Union.
The world has turned its resources to solving problems in the Middle East, leaving Serbia and Montenegro behind, the prince said. He has taken an active role in his country since returning from exile in 2001.
"We have had more deaths than births," added Crown Princess Katherine.
And poverty has so hobbled the country's health system that it has few ambulances and not enough incubators for the many premature babies that are being born, she said.
The crown princess, who is active in many charitable causes, established the Lifeline Humanitarian Organization to help the health system.
The couple's tour, which includes Cleveland, Chicago, Indianapolis, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., has been successful in raising some money and equipment donations.
Last night was no different. Thousands of dollars came in during a gathering at The Plain Dealer last night, hosted by President and Publisher Alex Machaskee.
"I also have concern for the dire situation that continues to exist in Serbia and Montenegro," Machaskee said.
Major donors were Machaskee; real estate developer Sam Miller; immigration lawyer Margaret Wong; Invacare CEO Mal Mixon; Umberto Fedeli of Fedeli Insurance Group; John and Jim Payiavlas, owners of OSS Security and AVI Vending; Kosta Papich; George Ostich, and Mitch Zunich.
Copyright © 1998 NJ.K.V. Prestolonaslednik Aleksandar II
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