Members of Belmont High School’s Spanish Club, under the guidance of teacher Sharon Hampton, will be hosting three fun events in May to raise money for a student exchange trip to Spain next spring. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
April 25, 2012BELMONT — A group of Belmont High School students are looking forward to their educational exchange trip to Spain next spring, and are busy working on numerous ways to raise the funds they will need for their journey.
The school alternates years with a French exchange program at BHS, and as the French Club headed to France this past week, students in the Spanish Club were already eager for their turn in the 2012-13 school year.
Most students in the Spanish Club have been studying the language for five years, and are ready to meet new friends from Spain, and for the challenge of speaking Spanish on a daily basis, if only for a short while.
"It's a great opportunity not a lot of people get, and it's just such a good experience," said junior Alice Hervey.
After sharing life in New Hampshire with the Spanish exchange students next fall, the club members will then get ready for their trip abroad to see them again. Spanish teacher Sharon Hampton said the group will stay with the Spanish students and their families to experience a lot with them individually before traveling to other attractions of cultural and historic significance in the country.
"They'll split their time up between staying with their host families and traveling together as a group. We'll go to Madrid, and this time, we'll also visit a really wonderful museum in Bilbao," Hampton said.
For sophomore Joe Bowles, the trip will be an opportunity for him to experience a different culture, and junior Austin Wilder agreed, saying this will be the first major trip out of the United States for most of the group.
"I've never been pushed out of my comfort zone. I want to go to a new environment and see how I handle it," he said.
Since each student will need to raise $2,500 for the trip, as well as spending money, the club has been busy brainstorming ideas on how to reach their goal. In the next several weeks they will be holding three large events, which they hope will appeal to the public.
First up on May 4 will be a Magic Show, featuring magician Ben Pratt. The show, guaranteed to entertain and amaze audience members of all ages, will take place in the Belmont Middle School gym at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults and will be available at the door.
The following Tuesday, May 8, club members are hosting a spaghetti dinner at the Tilt'n Diner from 5-8 p.m. For $8.99 plus tax, diners will be treated to an all-you-can-eat meal, which will include a beverage and a choice of meat or plain sauce.
As if that isn't enough family fun, a yard sale will be held rain or shine at BHS on Saturday, May 19 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., with vendors both inside and out. Food, crafts and miscellaneous household goods will all be a part of the day.
"If people have items they would like to sell themselves, they can rent a 10-foot-by-10-foot space or they can donate items to the Spanish Club for us to sell at our own table," said Wilder.
Other fundraisers will include the students assisting with duties for three triathlons this summer, along with the two NASCAR races in Loudon. They will also have a booth at the Belmont Old Home Day in August to raise more money for the trip.
"We'll divvy up the money we make among those who participate in the events, and hopefully, we'll earn enough to cover our expenses next year," Wilder said.
The BHS Spanish Club is looking forward to their first three upcoming events, and hopes the community will come out to both enjoy themselves and support the students in their efforts.