Imagine a classroom filled with 38 students, ranging in age from 8 to 14. Three of them have a reading textbook, two have a math textbook, and 10 have a notebook.
Many of the students in this classroom have walked more than an hour to get to school, carrying with them a bowl and spoon, eager for the only meal they may eat that day — school lunch.
The teacher in this classroom has very limited resources. She educates her students using a blackboard, chalk, and the one copy of the student textbook that she has.
Fortunately, this classroom is not located here in Platteville. However, this school does exist in Haiti.
Schools for Haiti is a local, family-run, nonprofit organization that has been working in the central plain region of Haiti since 2004. The organization was founded in 2007, by Len Demert of Cassville.
Demert died in September 2012, but his family wanted to keep Len’s dream alive. To date, Schools for Haiti has funded the building of three school buildings and two dormitories. They have dug several wells that provide clean drinking water for the schools and the people living in nearby villages. This organization has built chicken coops and planted gardens, which provide food sources for this poverty stricken area of Haiti.
About 150 orphans, who would otherwise be homeless and on their own, are supported by Schools for Haiti. Currently, their four schools educate 800 students. They employ four principals, 25 teachers, two cooks, several aids, security guards, and directors.
Four Platteville couples will be competing in a local fundraiser to help raise funds for these Haitian schools. The fundraiser is based on the 1970s TV game show “The Newlywed Game.”
“The Truly Wed Game” will be held at Community Evangelical Free Church in Platteville Friday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.
The contestant couples are donating their time are David and Sarah Allen, Mike and Kathy Bottrell, Jason and Michelle Sasse and Jim and Karen Schneller.
“If you know any of the four contestant couples, come to cheer them on,” said Renee Winkler, host of the show. “If you don’t know any of the couples, come to enjoy the laughs.”
When asked why they were willing to be in the show, Kathy Bottrell said, “It’s a great cause.”
Childcare will be provided, on a donation basis, with advanced registration by Aug. 17. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register for childcare.
The public can vote for the couple they think will win the game by placing money into that couples’ donation bucket. Voting has already begun, and will continue through the night of the event. All funds raised will provide books for the students who attend Schools for Haiti. Planners of the event are actively pursuing local business donations.
“We would love to have several local businesses match the funds raised — either what is raised in a particular couple’s bucket, or even better, someone to match all funds raised from the entire event,” said Jennifer North.
To donate to the fundraiser or to a particular couple, contact the church office, 348-7330.