Friday, November 2, 2007

Following in a great-grandmother?s footsteps

Senior project supports a legacy of giving back

Express Staff Writer

A young Arielle Mulenos and her doll donned African clothing given to her by her great-grandmother. Today, she is a Wood River High School senior.

When Wood River High School senior Arielle Mulenos thought about her senior project, she knew she wanted to do something that would make a difference. Inspired by her great-grandmother—who lived in the African nation of Zambia from 1964 to 1979 as a social welfare, public health and tribal peace worker—Mulenos decided to hold a fundraising event for an orphanage in Zambia.

"From One World to Another" is a cocktail-hour soiree with music by Colla Voce, Sun Valley Summer Conservatory vocal students, Vivian Alperin and two string quartets from the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. It will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at the Golden Eagle Clubhouse in the mid-valley. Tickets are $50 a person and there are premium sponsorships, with priority seating and complimentary wine, available for $150.

"There will be wine, Zambian hors d'oeuvres and presentations on the orphans and their situation in Zambia," Mulenos said.

For Mulenos, the idea of raising money and awareness about an African orphanage was very close to her heart because of her great-grandmother's work. After doing research on the Web, she contacted various orphanages in Zambia. After a response from one of the orphanages, she knew her project was on its way.

"The orphanage we are helping has 100 children and 10 women who work and act as mothers to the orphans," Mulenos said. "AIDS is a huge problem in Zambia, and most children are orphaned because their parents died from the disease."

In the future, Mulenos plans to go to Zambia. She has a cousin the same age who made a similar trip to Namibia, Africa, last summer.

"As a community, we are so fortunate and we have a lot to give, especially to places like Zambia," said Mulenos. "I will definitely keep working on it, and would love to do this beyond high school."

The Golden Eagle Clubhouse is located on Golden Eagle Drive, near the intersection of East Fork Road and state Highway 75. Seating and tickets are limited. For more details about donations or reservations call Arielle at 720-0836. Checks can be sent to Arielle Mulenos, P.O. Box 6192, Sun Valley, Idaho 83353, or deposited in the Zambian Orphan Project account at any U.S. Bank in the Wood River Valley. Checks should be made payable to Zambian Orphan Project.

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