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Club Fundraiser To Benefit Flood Victims Of Vietnam



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Club Fundraiser To Benefit

Flood Victims Of Vietnam

By Tanjua Damon

A new club at Newtown High School is hoping to make a difference in the lives of people from Vietnam who are less fortunate and are trying to pick up the pieces after the flood of the Mekong River.

The small group of under ten members will be selling a calendar reflecting Vietnam in mid-December. The group is creating a 2001 calendar that will have pictures of Vietnam that one of their members took and it will offer trivia to tickle the mind.

Claire Heppner, a junior and president of Helping Hands Vietnam, visited the country when her family adopted an infant, and wants to help the people there who are victims of poverty and the floodwaters.

“We’re putting together a calendar. Each month will have a photo representing Vietnam,” Claire said. “We want to raise money to buy boats for people who live along the Mekong River. In the last few years it has flooded every fall.”

If the group can raise $1,000 it can finance the purchase of 20 small wooden boats for the people of Vietnam. The color calendars will sell for $5 a piece and will be sold on December 16 outside the Stop & Shop on Route 25 and at winter concert events at the high school.

“I think that it is good to help out people who are in need,” said club member Kim Wise. “Raising the money will help a lot.”

The calendars will also feature tidbits of information that are unique and interesting. For example, chickens cannot swallow upside down; or the average speed of Heinz Ketchup leaving the bottle is 25 miles per year.

“We have really random facts in the calendars,” Meghan Sheehan said.

Megan Gagliardi, a junior, found the club interesting once Claire came back from Vietnam, and was eager to help out.

“When Claire came back from Vietnam, she had her sister,” Megan said. “You could see how rewarded they were. They were so happy. I wanted to help.”

The Helping Hands Vietnam club does not want people to think the calendar is propaganda, but rather a good faith gesture to help out people who are not from a developed country and need an extra hand.

“A lot of people live in the street or in very small houses. They don’t have indoor plumbing,” Claire said. “That’s a majority of people. They earn just a few cents every day. Sometimes they just beg in the street from people who are from developed countries.”

Helping Hands Vietnam members will be selling calendars starting in mid-December. Each member is trying to sell 20 calendars so the group can raise at least $1,000 to help purchase small boats. The club would also like to hold future fundraisers to help children in orphanages who are learning a trade because they will never be adopted. For more information call 270-3532.

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