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Monday, September 28, 2009

Capreol woman collecting money to help Cambodia's poor

A Greater Sudbury woman will hold a pair of events in early October to help raise funds for a school for children, including many orphans, in a small Cambodian village.

Tammy Durand will first hold a licenced dance entitled Crank it Up in Cape-Town in the Capreol Arena upstairs hall on Saturday, Oct. 3. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

"I have 150 (tickets) sold so far," said the Capreol native. "It's going to be good. It can hold a maximum 275 people."

Advance tickets can be purchased at the Northern Credit Union Capreol branch, Joan's Variety and Ace Hardware.

On Monday, Oct. 5, Durand plans to bicycle to Toronto via North Bay, taking Highway 11 and many back roads, to both collect money for and raise awareness about her campaign.

"I'm going to take four nights to do it," she said. "My rationale is the promotion of this. It's a 509-kilometre trip. Children would walk that in 40 days if there was a food bank at the other end. Awareness is a big thing, too. I've had 31 years of living in a bubble."

The proceeds from the fundraisers will go to Durand's "ABCs and Rice Campaign" in aid of the Supporting the Orphans and Indigent People of Cambodia for Development (SOID).

Durand met the man behind SOID, a former monk named Sok Vana, while visiting Cambodia as part of a tourist group in June. She was taking a much-needed vacation after 10 years of working in the transportation field.

SOID runs an orphanage, as well as a free school for the impoverished children of Veal, a small village near Siem Reap, a city located northwest of the capital of Phnom Penh.

"If you have seen Foster Parents Plan or World Vision commercials, that's exactly what it is -- except it means so much more when you are there," she said.

Families of students at the school are given a ration of rice each month, while students get a nourishing meal each morning, five days a week.

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