Foothill for Africa journey comes to an end (14 photos)

Members of Foothill for Africa serve traditional Sierra Leonean food at the clubs last fundraiser yesterday. Credit: Rachel Crane/The Foothill Dragon Press.

Rachel Crane

Members of Foothill for Africa serve traditional Sierra Leonean food at the club's last fundraiser yesterday. Credit: Rachel Crane/The Foothill Dragon Press.
Members of Foothill for Africa serve traditional Sierra Leonean food at the club’s last fundraiser yesterday. Credit: Rachel Crane/The Foothill Dragon Press.

With the help of traditional Sierra Leonean food, original artwork, and live music, Foothill for Africa raised $3,500 yesterday at its last fundraiser of the year and surpassed its goal of $50,000.

The Foothill for Africa club has been fundraising since the beginning of the school year in hopes of raising enough money to build a primary school in Lungi, Sierra Leone.

“I just thought it was really amazing that we could even think about raising $50,000,” said Foothill senior Sharon Choi. “At first we were really doubting if we could reach it because it was such an incredible goal,” she added.

Choi, like most of the Foothill for Africa club members are using this experience for their senior Hero Project. The Hero Project is mandatory for all Foothill seniors to complete, and requires 15 to 35 hours of community service.

“I think this project has one of the best long term impacts of any project I’ve seen,” said senior Sam O’Donnell as he scratched his eyebrow thoughtfully. “Education is really important right now. It has to be done right now. I mean, why not take part in this if I can do something to help improve the educational system?” he said.

Ventura Unified Superintendent Trudy Arriaga recognized the time and effort the members have put forward.

“I’m just really proud of their effort, and I can’t think of a better way for Foothill students to spend their time than with what they’re doing in Africa,” Arriaga said.

Arriaga was also impressed with the final benefit the club put on. “The artwork is beautiful, and the music is fabulous. It’s a really nice event,” she said.

The night began at 5 p.m. when attendees walked into the Poinsettia Pavilion as The Rhine, a synthetic/progressive rock band featuring Foothill students, played their original music.

The guests were then introduced to traditional Sierra Leonean food made by Oxnard resident Henrietta Bassey.

As they ate, the attendees were also encouraged to take part in the silent auction which featured Sierra Leonean artwork as well as quilts made from the fabric teachers Cherie Eulau and Melissa Wantz bought while visiting Sierra Leone this past summer.

As the guests mingled, ate, and bid, local soul musician Chris Pierce took the stage.

The night, and project, came to an end when both Wantz and Eulau gave speeches about their experience with Schools for Salone before toasting to the Lungi Primary School.

“It’s been phenomenal. It’s been rewarding. It’s been difficult. But there are very few things that are rewarding that are easy. It has been a long journey, but we’re delighted that we made it and that we’ll get to build the school in July,” said Eulau.

Since the $50,000 needed to build the school has been raised, the journey of Foothill students and teachers has come to an end.

“This is a good end,” said senior True Randall. “We raised $50,000, we’re building a school, we’re making a difference. I’m not happy that it’s over, I’m happy that we accomplished our goal.”

Dragon Press staff member Chrissy Springer contributed to the reporting of this article. 

Photo Credit: Rachel Crane/The Foothill Dragon Press.

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