A fashion show and gift sale fundraiser this coming weekend in Ladysmith will benefit education initiatives in Guatemala. (Photo courtesy Gerry Beltgens)

A fashion show and gift sale fundraiser this coming weekend in Ladysmith will benefit education initiatives in Guatemala. (Photo courtesy Gerry Beltgens)

Guatemalan fashion show supports fine cause

Event happens this Saturday, Dec. 10, at Eagles Hall

A fashion show fundraiser will help families in Guatemala get ready for a new school year that will begin later this winter.

The Guatemalan Fashion Show and Gift Sale will be held Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Eagles Hall.

Rotary clubs are collaborating to raise money for educational materials in Guatemala, and according to a press release, the support from the Island “will ensure a much better and more enjoyable environment for learning” in the Central American nation.

The first fashion show and gift sale was held a little more than a year ago, and the Rotary Club of Ladysmith noted that through the “amazing generosity” of those who attended, more than $6,300 in sales and donations was raised for access to education initiatives for poor, rural and Indigenous children in Guatemala. Since then, the Access to Education Collaborative registered society was formed, raised another $10,000 in private donations and leveraged $25,000 in grants via Rotary for related projects.

According to the release, the collaborative was able to supply digital libraries, projectors, laptops, nutritional supplements, school supplies, shoes and clothing for children in San Lucas Toliman, Pacaman, San Antonio Palopo, Chuk Muk and Patzun.

Rotary club member Gerry Beltgens returned to Guatemala last month on his own dime and worked with the non-governmental organization Opportunities for Guatemalans to provide 30 laptops and begin work on setting up a computer skills and technician program in San Antonio Aguas Calientes. They also collaborated with local government to provide 24 computers in Pastores and travelled to Honduras to set up schools in Comayagua.

Beltgens said all money raised went directly to the projects – none of it for travel, accommodations or expenses.

“As you can imagine, the need is great and we have lots more projects to support in 2023 and forward,” he said.

The fashion show Dec. 10 goes from 1-4 p.m., with admission by donation. This year there will be an even bigger selection of fashions, hand-made weavings, jewelry and Christmas items. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/accesstoeducationcollaborative or call 250-739-3887.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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