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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Friday — March 26, 2004


‘Build a School’ campaign nears goal

Express Staff Writer

The Wood River Valley is closing in on becoming the second American community to build a school in a mountain range that straddles Pakistan and Afghanistan. The effort is coordinated through the Central Asia Institute.

Sisters Amy Bingham and Elizabeth Schwerdtle, both of Hailey, are spearheading fundraising efforts with a campaign called "Build A School, Change the World." One school can be built and maintained for years for $25,000.

Two girls study together at one of the schools built in the Pakistan mountains by the Central Asia Institute, based in Montana. Courtesy photo

Schwerdtle said that with an anonymous matching donation of $10,000, they are within $8,000 of reaching their goal. They are giving themselves until the end of the year to fulfill the requirement. If the full amount is not raised, the money will be folded into another building project with the Central Asia Institute.

Recently, the National Honor Society at the Wood River High School donated $1,000 to the campaign.

Among the projects in the planning stages for the rest of the year are a community dance for all ages, a square dance and a sit down dinner.

Schwerdtle said she hopes that the dance will be "driven by the youth groups in the valley."

During Girl Scout Thinking Day recently, a presentation was made to the Silver Sage Girl Scouts and Brownies. They are now creating and placing canisters in valley locations to help with the fund raising. The Blaine County Education Foundation and the "Build A School" campaign are selling environmentally friendly fluorescent bulbs. The profits will then be split between the two organizations.

"It’s the small things that add up," Schwerdtle said. "It takes so little to make a difference. $1 goes 200 times further there."


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.