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Saturday, April 19, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
Playing with Chalk Dust Torture are, from left, Aaron White, guest singer Mark Davidson and Drummer Dwayne Heroth.

Joshua Thomas
Playing in Chalk Dust Torture at Saturday's Destination Europe benefit are, from left, Marc Vachon, Mike O'Connor, Blake Smith and Tim Field.

Joshua Thomas
About 50 attended Destination Europe's Saturday evening Tailgate Party at VanAlstyne Homestead.

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Half of Destination Europe funding goal reached

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - Updated: 9:28 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- Two fundraisers -- a chili/baked goods sale and a Tailgate Party -- were held on Saturday to raise money for Destination Europe, a group of students, teachers and parents planning to use the money for activities on a July trip overseas.

Destination Europe will transport a group of 16 (currently, yet there is room for more participants), to London, Paris and Rome July 1-9, the funds raised offsetting required tipping and non-planned activities including evening tours.

Between the fundraisers held so far, $2,000 of the $4,000 goal has been raised. Upcoming fundraisers include a McDonald's night on March 5. The American Hotel, in Sharon Springs, will also offer 20 percent of its sales at an upcoming Sunday brunch. Another event at Ace Hardware is also upcoming, though a date hasn't been set.

Aside from extras, the trip will cost each participant about $3,400, which includes two meals a day, travel and hotels, yet doesn't include lunch, souvenirs or extras, including tipping of a constant, nine-day tour guide, local guides and bus drivers.

Some of the sights the group plans to see are, in London, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, and the Piccadilly Circus; in Paris, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame; and in Rome, Vatican City, including St. Peter's Square, the Roman Forum and Coliseum.

Most of the people going on the trip at this point are from the Canajoharie or Sharon Springs school districts, where two trip participants, educators Tim and Jen Field work (at Canajoharie and Sharon Springs, respectively).

The group's organizers, including numerous parents, which are required to accompany kids below high school age, have been meeting once or twice a month to plan fundraisers. Many parents have also put together items for the fundraisers, including a massive spread of food at Saturday's Tailgate Party at Van Alstyne Homestead. Though students were unable to attend that event, which targeted adults, they still came to help set up from 6-8 p.m. 

About 50 attended Saturday,  entertained by Chalk Dust Torture, a teacher-filled band including Jen's husband, Tim.

The idea behind Destination Europe, said Field, is "for people to be able to have affordable travel within a group, because many people are nervous about traveling abroad by themselves."

"This opens the doors for those students and their families to go with a group and feel more confident, and then go back independently," Field explained.

She said she also hopes the trip will, while letting people see other parts of the world, reiterate how great and unique the area we call home is. She said that her children, who have travelled abroad, have really come to "appreciate where we live." 

She added. "they love to travel, but they understand that where we live is very beautiful, and they appreciate it."

There are still numerous spots open on the trip, as only 16 of 40-45 spots are currently filled. Participants can be any age, from anywhere, but must be accompanied by a parent if they're younger than high school age. 

For inquiries about the trip or to find out how to donate to Destination Europe, contact Jen Field at (518) 698-3404.

     

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