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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Fundraiser raises money for Tanzania orphanages

    The International Academic Program held its first fundraiser ever on Saturday night.

    All donations went to Tanzanian orphanages in Mto wa Mbu. The fundraiser was held at Pentimento Restaurant in the village of Stony Brook, and cost $75 per person. A genuine African dinner was served, there was live African music and African artwork was for sale.

    “We decided to organize this event since we are all dedicated to the Tanzanian cause. The orphanages there really need this money,” said Frances Aldous-Worley, assistant to the dean of the International Academic Program, who helped organize the benefit.

    Worley first went to Tanzania in 2003 with the International Academic Program when she was an undergraduate student. She now goes every summer, teaching classes in Tanzania to Stony Brook students and leading the trip along with William Arens, the dean of the International Academic Program. Arens created this trip in 1998, and has since been taking 15 to 30 students to Tanzania every summer.

    “When we first started going, we would see the orphanages with no water, inadequate beds and hard living conditions,” Arens said. “We decided we should leave something to help out every summer when we came.”

    Arens says the most rewarding part of giving money to the orphanage was “bringing water and the ability to shower.”

    Each year, Arens and his students buy supplies before going to the orphanage and give the rest of the money they raised in cash to the orphanage.

    Before this fundraiser, students would organize their own events, including ice cream socials, residential hall events and club meetings to raise money to send with the summer trip to Tanzania.

    After senior Maria Rodriguez went to Tanzania in 2010 she decided to raise funds with the help of the on campus UNICEF team.

    “After going to Tanzania and seeing the orphanages, I thought about my experience and what I could do to give back,” said Rodriguez.

    Alumni also attended the benefit to support Tanzanian orphanages.

    “I feel like even though I went so long ago, I’m in this for the long haul,” said Christina Szaraz, an alumna of the class of 2004.

    But Rodriguez and Szaraz agree this benefit was more successful as a whole.

    The benefit raised $3,000 from the sale of art pieces and the costs of the 50 tickets that were sold.

    Last year, the fundraiser raised a total of $7,000, compared to $10,000 the year before. This year’s fundraiser is not yet over, and they hope to meet at least last year’s total.

    “This benefit was a success and we will definitely continue to have it every year,” Aldous-Worley said. “This was hopefully the beginning of a nice tradition for the International Academic Program.”

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