| Jan 15, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - January 15, 2009 “Send Off” fundraiser for haitian Schools

by Julie Druker

On January 31 Linda Bates of Verona and four other committed volunteers will be heading to the tiny village of Grison-Garde in Haiti to distribute $37,000 in school supplies to four schools in the tiny village.

A final send off fundraiser for the team, the Haiti School Reception/Dance, will be held at the Verona Lions Hall this Saturday, January 17 from 7-12pm. Linda, who is the Canadian Team Coordinator on the World Committee for the International Scout Guide Fellowship, is hoping the Saturday send off fundraiser will generate enough funds to get the team to Haiti and back.

The event is open to everyone and “pay what you can” cash donations can be made at the door. The evening will include music, food, and musical entertainment by two bands: Telephoto and Bauder Road.

A silent auction will also be held, offering various products and services from local businesses and individuals, worth altogether about $5000. Auction items will include golf and other packages, original art works, multiple gift baskets, movies passes and much more.

Bates and her husband Don led the initial drive for the school supplies months ago. Bates enlisted the help of the Limestone District School Board, the International Scout and Guide Fellowship along with many local businesses and individuals from Verona to Amherst Island to raise the donations. The shipment is expected to arrive on February 1, the day after the team’s arrival.

Linda Bates herself works as an educational assistant at Sydenham High School. Kevin Ryan is one of the other volunteers and he will be using his carpentry skills to build bookshelves, cupboards and paint tables in the classrooms, and a puppet theatre for the kindergarten class.

Ryan’s daughter Heather is also part of the team and she will be assisting Bates in setting up the kindergarten classrooms and training the Haitian teachers to use the new materials. Monique Haggar, a professor at the Royal Military College in Kingston who speaks both French and Creole and Lise Woods, a French-speaking teacher at Ottawa’s French Catholic School Board, will also be assisting with the set up, teacher training and translation.

This will be Bates’ first time visiting Haiti since she began her fundraising activities last July and she is looking forward to the trip. ”I’m so excited I’ve been counting down the days now.” She adds, “I can’t say enough about the community at large and their commitment to this project.”

Linda and her team are wholly determined to make the trip and she admits, “Even if the funds aren’t completely there, we’re still definitely going... no matter what.”

Anyone who cannot attend the event but would like to make a donation can contact Linda or Don at 613 374-1307. 

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