Talent show for Water for Life

| 29 Sep 2011 | 03:09

SPARTA — On Saturday, May 16, the Sparta Youth Committee held a charity talent show in Dykstra Park to raise money to provide access to clean drinking water to South African Schools. The day consisted of over 30 acts including bands, vocals, and dance routines. Not only was it a day of entertainment, but a day of recognition and dedication. The Nicholson family donated time and resources into building Sparta a new Performing Arts Pavilion. Many familiar faces were there to support and show their appreciation to the Nicholsons, including Mayor Brian L. Brady, and Deputy Mayor Scott K. Seelagy. All of the money raised went to benefit The Hands On The World Globe - Water Is Life Project. Sparta resident and author Rachel Paulson began her work with The Hands On The World Globe - Water Is Life Project in 2000 when she was invited to a book signing and workshop at a United Nations event in East Borne England. Her interest grew as she learned about the places without food and water. Paulson was inspired to start a youth group called Global Kids, which continues to do work in Sussex County and throughout the country helping needy communities with problems relating to health and environment. Paulson, an author of children’s books focused her 2006 manuscript, which would be her third book series for children, on the subject of water. “I was asked by the U.N. to write a book that would shine light upon a place in South Africa where 700 school villages do not have running water,” said Rachel Paulson. “As I read about these places, my heart would ache as I thought about the young girls who must walk miles, six hours per day, as they leave home and school to fetch water.” Paulson then made a trip to see for herself the conditions in Africa. “I placed myself in with the Zulu women, and spent days with them, walking to mud holes where they fetched water,” said Paulson “I knew then that I would use every cent of my books’ profits to put in my first water well, right outside the schools so that the children and the community could have water.” Since then Paulson has returned to Africa several times with teen volunteers. The talent show was the brainchild of Katharine Miller, one of the teens involved in the Sparta Youth Committee. The show raised $700. “All the children and teens that took part made me feel like there was hope to continue my work as their support lifted my spirits. I can only hope I am invited to be part of it again, as it was a true honor. The support and interest shown by the community was overwhelming,” said Paulson —photos and story by Leslie Sullivan