Hoping to offset a truncated year for fundraising at Elmira District Secondary School, two students are heading the fourth annual Café for Change initiative today (Saturday). A yearly fundraiser is focusing this year’s efforts on funding a drinking well in Haiti.“Because of the teacher strike we weren’t allowed to do any events in between that, so we kind of decided we wanted to do a big event to end it off and make up for what we haven’t done,” said Alicia Waring.
Her partner in crime, Tessa Charnuski, previously expressed interest in similar projects and wanted to focus the funding efforts towards a water-related project.
“I really wanted to build a well, so that was a really good cause to give our money towards,” she added.
The idea to fundraise for this specific project also came from Waring’s previous work in Haiti. The youth had gone on a missionary trip to the country and made a few connections she hopes to keep.
“In March of 2012, I went on a mission to Haiti so I kind of have connections there. It’s a good opportunity to help somewhere.”
This is the pair’s first year heading Be the Change at EDSS – a campaign endorsed by Craig Keilburger, founder of the Free the Children Foundation in Toronto.
The girls don’t have a set goal for the money they want to raise with Café for Change (the well would cost about $5,000) but are confident the popularity of the event in past years will generate a good turnout. Many performers from past years have been eager to show off their talents again this year, the girls said, and by the middle of the week they had sold more 50 tickets to the show. They also hope other students will jump on the well-building next year with further fundraising attempts.
“The well is $5,000 so our goal is to reach $5,000 over the year with different activities,” said Charnuski.
“Hopefully the group next year will continue to raise money for the well,” Waring added.
The Café for Change is taking place Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. in the EDSS cafeteria. Visitors can drop by any time for a slice of pie, a hot beverage and performances by some local talent featuring groups from EDSS as well as the community. Tickets cost $10 at the door.