Some kids band together during high school to play sports, study or act. For a small group of students at Dexter High School, however, their cause for coming together is more profound.
The Dexter ONE club began in 2010 by the friends of Laurence Carolin, a Dexter student who died of brain cancer in 2010. After his diagnosis, Carolin decided to dedicate his $5,000 in Make-A-Wish money to the United Nations Foundation.
Current Co-President Krista Schaefer said the goal of the ONE club is to think globally.
“It’s more of a global cause,” she said. “I think that extreme poverty, if anything, has to stop.”
Every year Dexter ONE plans Airplane Day, another extension of the club inspired by Carolin.
Carolin, who was adopted from South Korea, celebrated his day of arrival in America rather than his birthday with friends and family. After his death, the group decided to continue to celebrate Carolin and his dedication to public service through Airplane Day.
“It morphed into more of raising awareness about Laurence’s dream,” Dexter ONE Co-President Gabriella Gomez Zubieta said.
This year’s event is being held Feb. 28 and will feature speakers from Dexter ONE and people who have traveled to Africa and witnessed extreme poverty first hand. There will also be petitions available to sign and games designed to help inform and inspire others.
Additionally, the club will be selling jewelry from Beadforlife, an organization that help empower women in Uganda through teaching entrepreneurial skills. These women create beaded jewelry out of recycled paper, which is then sold to help fund their education program.
“It can really snowball into a big thing,” Zubieta said of Beadforlife.
The event is free, but any donations given will be sent to this year’s chosen charity, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The alliance is a UN-hosted charity that helps families adopt cleaner, safer cooking techniques. Globally, open fires and solid fuels are often used for cooking, which present a danger to the families that use them.
The fifth annual Airplane Day is set for 6-10 p.m. Feb 28 at Foggy Bottom Coffee House in Dexter.