The Kenmore West Both Your Hands Club held a concert Saturday at Xtreme Wheels to benefit the Crossroads Springs Orphan Care Center in Hamisi, Kenya. Five bands -- As I Rise, Knulp, Alkali Lake, theboyandhismachine and Pyrolixious -- donated their time to the cause for the benefit show which attracted 200 people and raised $1,500.
"I'm really impressed with all the kids that helped organize the concert and their belief in supporting such an important cause," said concert adviser Diane Weber. The Crossroads Springs program provides food, housing and education to orphans of the AIDS epidemic in Kenya. The center was founded in 2003 by Dr. Meshack Isiaho with the motto: "Save the child, Heal the Nation!"
Also in attendance at Saturday's concert was Alison Hyde, a partner in Crossroads Springs who travels frequently to Kenya. "I am thrilled by the energy and commitment of the members of the Both Your Hands Club. The concert is fantastic," she said. "The children and caregivers at Crossroads Springs get hope from what you do. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart." Hyde and her husband, Arthur, spoke to Both Your Hands Club members earlier this year.
The Both Your Hands organization was created in 2004 by Deborah Naybor of Alden as a means of combating poverty around the world. Last year, Kenmore West English teacher Julian Weber and his wife, Diane, had the idea of bringing Both Your Hands Club to Kenmore West. Today, the club has blossomed to more than 40 members, all dedicated to helping various causes in Africa. Club president Sally Ernst said: "We sold a lot more jewelry at this year's concert than at past events. It's a really great price for a truly good cause. Every cent helps."
Club members sell authentic Kenyan jewelry and crafts during lunch periods and school events, in addition to trying to spread the word about the plight in Africa as much as possible.
The Crossroads Springs Orphan Care Center currently is an orphanage and primary school. "Eventually, we to hope raise enough money to build a high school which costs around $54,000," Diane Weber said.
For more information about Crossroads Springs, go online to www.crossroadspsrings.org.
Rachel Martin is a junior at Kenmore West High School.