Event Offers A Taste Of The Dominican Republic: Student-led Event Designed to Raise Awareness and Funds for Work in the DR

By Paul Batterson, WCS Contributing Writer

After seeing her sister make the journey to the Dominican Republic last year, Worthington Christian High School junior Megan Severance is doing everything she can to make sure her classmates have an equally rewarding trip next spring. Severance is helping coordinate WCS’ “A Taste of the Dominican” banquet, which will be held 6-9 p.m. on April 29 in the AC Auditorium (6675 Worthington-Galena Road).

“Seeing my sister McKenzie (WCS ‘16) experience the trip last year and listening to all the stories she had to share has made me super excited to go on the trip next year,” said Severance, a member of the school’s leadership class. “I can’t wait to play with all the kids and experience all the love and joy they have to offer.

“I was interested in doing something to raise funds for the Dominican Republic trip and (teachers Sarah Knepper and Dan Roads) thought that I would enjoy planning ‘A Taste of the Dominican’ fundraiser.”

A $10 donation is recommended for those who plan on attending the affair. The event will serve as a night of reflection for the members of the Class of 2017 who made the trip this spring as well as a fund-raiser for next year’s trip. “A Taste of the Dominican” will feature:

  • A dessert reception;
  • A silent auction with items donated from area businesses and Worthington Christian families;
  • A sale of seniors’ artwork inspired by this spring’s trip; and
  • A video of the trip and student testimonies on the impact of this spring’s trip had.

“The money raised at this event will be used to purchase supplies for next year’s trip to bless the schools we partner with over in the Dominican,” Severance said. “With this money, we can purchase school supplies, medical supplies, games and toys for the children.”

Erika Irvin, a Worthington Christian parent who participated in this spring’s trip, felt called to serve as an advisor for “A Taste of the Dominican.” Irvin, who raised contributions for political candidates for ten years, said participating in this spring’s trip gave her a sense of urgency to help with the project.

“The school knew I had a background in fund-raising and a heart for missions, so it made sense,” Irvin said. “They needed someone to help organize some of the fund-raising events, so this fell right into my wheelhouse.

“After seeing the looks on the kids’ faces at the school we are involved with, I had to be involved. These kids are so loving and so interested in coming to school and learning. You want to help them have the best education they can have.”

Irvin went on a mission’s trip to Mexico when she was a senior in high school, and that trip has had a lasting impact on her.

“If you grow up in a middle or upper middle-class family in the Midwest, you don’t have the opportunity to see poverty at that level very often,” she said. “It’s an eye-opening experience to see that not everyone has the lifestyle we’ve been granted.

“I guess you know that (poverty exists) in your mind, but until you can see it face to face, it doesn’t sink in or hit your heart until you see it and hug the kids. I think it impacts how they interact with others for the rest of their lives, no matter where life takes them.”

Severance said juniors could help with “A Taste of the Dominican” by bringing desserts to share to the event.  Severance has definite hopes and goals for the event.

“Some of my goals are to have 150 people or more to show up, to have all of the auction items bid on and sold by the end of the night, and for this year’s junior class to understand better what they’ll be experiencing next year.

“When people attend this event I hope that they get a better understanding of what the senior class gets to experience and accomplish during their missions trip. I also hope that more people will become passionate about the children in the Dominican and want to support what the senior class will do next year.”