A bruising round of dodge ball at Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School kicked off a campaign to build a new life for residents of an impoverished country scarred by civil war. Travis Frampton and Mady Harber, both 18, leave April 24 for a two-week stay in rural Tajikistan, an earthquake-prone region with a battered infrastructure and inadequate housing. There they will join a dozen members of Habitat for Humanity Global Village to build a home for a family in the town of Nurek. “They need attention on the world stage,” Frampton said moments before students at his alma mater plunked down a toonie each to spend the afternoon drilling one another with rubber balls. All proceeds went toward the $5,000 in travel expenses and building materials each participant in the upcoming build are expected to raise. “The support is just amazing,” Harber added. Both graduates of the local separate school, the two met in a Grade 12 philosophy class. “We realized we shared a lot of the same interests,” Frampton recalled. When her like-minded friend decided to leave Orillia to help build a house for a single mother of eight in El Suyate, Guatemala last year, it was Harber who organized a fundraising coffee house event at the school. The resulting experience was life changing for Frampton. “It is not something I ever want to stop doing,” he added of the labour intensive but satisfying work. “It made me realize how ridiculous it is the things we complain about here.” Neither is Harber a stranger to the spirit of volunteerism. Proceeds from a locally produced CD and concert she organized last year raised more than $3,600 for the local Habitat chapter. The upcoming trip, “is going to be the first of many,” she added. “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” Harber plans to study international development with the aim of improving living conditions for residents of Third World countries. “When I set my mind to something, I try my best to make it happen,” she added. Anyone wishing to contribute to the upcoming trip can do so online at www.Canadahelps.org
New Tecumseth is looking for people to step up to BAT for its buy local campaign. Buy Around Town in Beeton, Alliston, Tottenham is being launched this weekend at the New Tecumseth Home, Health and Leisure Show at the New Tecumseth Recreation Complex. It’s a town-organized initiative to promote shopping locally. A wallet-sized BAT passport will be given away at the home show and is also available in today’s Herald. People will get a sticker for their passport for every $10 spent at participating businesses in the three communities. Once a passport has 10 stickers it is put in a ballot box and the person is eligible to win one of three cash prizes, which will be drawn at the end of the 10-week campaign, July 4. The three prizes are for $2,000, $1,000 and $500 in BAT bucks that can be used at any of the participating businesses. When getting a passport, New Tecumseth business improvement association co-ordinator Sarah Toth said people will also get a pin. "People will be out looking for shoppers wearing a BAT pin," she said. When people are caught with the pin on, the pin-wearer gets $25 BAT bucks and will get their photo taken for the newspaper. Toth said participating stores will have a BAT poster in the window so people know they are a part of the campaign. An updated list of businesses will also be available online at www.allistonbia.com New Tecumseth’s economic development division is facilitating the initiative with the Alliston and District Chamber of Commerce, the Tottenham and District Chamber of Commerce, the Alliston Business Improvement Association, and the Beeton-Tottenham Business Improvement Association. For more information, contact Toth at 705-435-6219 ext. 256.