Samantha Gordon: Event publicized need in local schools, too
To the editor:
I’m writing in response to Elaine Sarnosky’s letter that appeared in the Aug. 6 edition of the Sky-Hi News; it was her response to our effort to raise money for Soft Power Education, a British nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life and education for kids and communities in Uganda.
I was happy to read Elaine’s praise in regard to the charity triathlon we’re hosting for Soft Power Education in Uganda, a ‘noble idea’, in her kind words. It’s the second part of her letter that spawned a need to respond, most notably her concern about our skewed priority to ‘take on the world’ rather than stabilize and secure our own community. Rather than compare the opportunity for education and quality of life of Grand County children and Ugandan children, I’d like to take her concern constructively to heart. A main focus of our event, which you may gather from the name, was to bring worldly education home to our families and children here in Grand County.
We have our community’s interests in mind, and I say that confidently. For starters, all of the sponsors of the triathlon are local businesses for whom we hope to garner attention and business. Following the triathlon, myself, Cy Kennedy, and Bryan Kettlewell (organizers of the triathlon), will travel to Jinja, Uganda, to work, play, and teach with Soft Power Education for three weeks. Post trip, we’ll put on a family film night at the Recreation Center to show video and pictures from our trip in an effort to share our experience, newfound knowledge, and another culture with our community. Finally, in response to both Elaine’s and our own concern about the state of school funding in Grand County, we will now include literature about this matter in the gift bags for our race participants. By doing so, we hope to raise awareness in Grand County while doing the same for education in Uganda. I’d also like to personally invite Elaine to our event and encourage her to join us in advocating for education both locally and abroad.
Finally, please take note that this triathlon is not a Recreation Center sponsored event, nor is it a Chamber of Commerce event, though both are assisting us greatly in our effort. It’s an independent attempt by three friends, all bleeding heart idealists, to put our creative minds and hands together to host a fun, educational event for one community while bringing awareness to, and raising money for, another community halfway around the world.
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