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HomeNewsArchivesAidchild Art Event Raises $10,000 for Ugandan Orphans

Aidchild Art Event Raises $10,000 for Ugandan Orphans

June 27, 2007 — More than two years ago, two St. Croix high school students attended a presentation that opened their eyes and hearts to the plight of Ugandan orphans living with AIDS. The students were determined to make a difference, and began plans for a fund raiser that eventually raised $10,000 for the cause.
The Country Day School students, Sade Balwant and Jenna Lee Thomas, attended a presentation held at their school by Nathaniel Dunigan, the founder and director of Aidchild. They listened as Dunigan related alarming statistics showing there are more than two million orphans in Uganda, and most of them are HIV positive.
After speaking with their art teacher, Monica Marin, the two AP art students wrote letters to other St. Croix schools, encouraging them to be a part of a fund-raising art show to benefit the children. The students set a fund-raising goal of $10,000 and contacted the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts (CMCArts) in Frederiksted, which agreed to sponsor the event. Along with those from Country Day, students who donated their original works for the show attended St. Joseph's, the Educational Complex and Good Hope.
Dunigan added to the collection by donating artwork from established Ugandan artists. The show, "Visions for Humanity," opened May 5. Opening night attracted more than 200 art enthusiasts ready to contribute to the cause.
Reacting to the news of reaching their goal, Thomas was elated. "The money raised will translate into a lot of help for the kids, and that is what we wanted," she said. "We are really happy." Thomas, 18, recently graduated and is looking forward to attending the University of Florida in the fall.
Balwant was equally pleased: "I'm really happy. We set out with the goal, and it felt good to donate and help other people."
Balwant, 17, also recently graduated and will attend Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, majoring in international economics with a minor in arts.
"I was pleased to have the center sponsor this event and support our local, talented young artists in their noble efforts to help others in need," said CMCArts founder Candia Atwater.
Dunigan praised the students' "active compassion."
"I will never cease to be amazed at the power of active compassion," he said. "This fund raiser has resulted in funding that will pay for months and months of medication for the precious ones in our care! All because Jenna and Sade not only felt compassion, but they acted! It is so very, very special. We are so grateful to them, to the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, Country Day School, and all the others who worked so hard to help our kids!"
For more information on Aidchild, visit its website at aidchild.org..
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