A Middletown student has been selected as one of 40 delegates to represent Rhode Island in the People to People Student Ambassador program this year. Now she's seeking the community's help to make her inclusion in this program a reality.
Lauren Elizabeth Hayes writes that the program, started by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, allows students in grades 7-12 to travel abroad and interact with people from other countries for the purposes of education and cultural exchange. This particular trip will be to Italy and Greece and will allow the students to work with a community service program, visiting many historical sites including the Vatican and ancient ruins of Greece, Hayes writes.
"This particular trip has a strong personal meaning to me," Hayes states. "This past September my Grampy, A. Christopher Varone passed away. He was of Italian decent and very proud of his Italian heritage. He spoke often of visiting Italy and taking his entire family along, unfortunately he was unable to fulfill his wish. When this opportunity presented itself I dedicated myself to participating in memory of my Grampy."
Hayes has set out to finance the trip by working as a babysitter and doing other odd jobs, but she is also hosting a fundraiser this Friday, March 16, to help her get closer to her goal.
The fundraiser will be a pasta dinner at the Middletown FOP Hall, 464 Mitchells Lane, at 6 p.m. Friday. Each ticket is $50, which Hayes says will cover two people's dinners, but also enter the donor into a drawing for a cash prize. The first prize is $1,000, second prize, $500. If you cannot attend and wish to purchase a raffle ticket, or make a donation, you can send a check to Lauren Elizabeth Hayes, 27 Moy Ct. Middletown RI 02842. She says you may also call 401-864-1285 or e-mail BVH152@gmail.com.