Outreach to Haiti Benefit Concert, organized by Courtney Daley and her cousin, will feature an intimate performance by Tim Warren of The Alternate Routes and guest speaker Cara Clark Quinn, Connecticut teacher of the year.
By Ronni Newton
A course that Courtney Daley took several years ago at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire that involved a service trip to the Dominican Republic has turned into a passion for helping change the lives of children in that region.
Daley, a senior at Plymouth state majoring in adventure education and minoring in photography, will host a fundraiser along with her cousin Patrick Langevin of Brooklyn, at the Watkinson Foisie Amphitheater in Hartford on Nov. 22. The event is a combined concert and auction, and Daley hopes to sell some of the beautiful and moving photographs she has taken on service trips to support her continued work with the Batey Foundation in the Dominican Republic and her cousin’s outreach work in Haiti.
Daley was so moved by the poverty she saw when she first visited the Dominican Republic that she has continued to go back every year to do what she can to help. She is now sponsoring Eddie, a 9-year-old boy she met on a past trip, and is considering moving to the Dominican Republic for at least a year after she graduates.
“The trip to the Dominican Republic moved me in so many ways, I could write about it forever. It put a lot of things in my life into perspective, and put me on track with where I’m going and what I want to do with my life, and how I want to make a change in others’ lives. I have experienced a lot in my life. I have traveled to many places but one thing I had never seen before was poverty. It was like being in one of those sad commercials and not being able to quickly change the channel,” Daley said.
Daley is motivated to give the children in the Dominican Republic opportunities that they may not otherwise have – to teach them sports, do arts and crafts, and to help put them on the right track for the future.
“There is such beauty in the culture and the people there. We may have everything and more than we even need, but in America people always find something to complain about. In the Dominican they don’t have what they need or want and they never find a reason to complain. They love one another and there is such beauty in the people that it makes me want to come back. Yes, they need a lot of help and I can’t wait to make a change for them, and I will continue to make small changes for the rest of my life.”
Daley will return to the Dominican Republic in January for her third service trip. She has teamed up with her cousin Patrick Langevin, a Farmington native who now lives in Brooklyn, to support her service work as well as outreach work he plans to continue in Haiti.
The fundraiser will take place on Saturday, Nov. 22, from 5:30 – 8 p.m. at the Watkinson Foisie Amphitheater, 180 Bloomfield Ave., Hartford CT. Guests will enjoy a fun evening filled with arts, culture and music. There will be craft sales of pieces created by Haitian artists. The photographs and painting by local artists will also be on display to benefit the Batey Foundation. Beer, wine and savory and sweet concessions will be available for purchase. The evening will also include a silent auction. Tickets are $30 in advance and $30 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at http://weareoneoutreach.brownpapertickets.com.
Farmington-based rock band The Alternate Routes will perform. Lead singer Tim Warren recently toured with Ingrid Michaelson and the band’s song “Nothing More” was featured during the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The song’s lyrics is the message that the benefit concert is trying to convey: “We are love, We are one, We are how we treat each other when the day is done. We are peace, We are war, We are how we treat each other and nothing more.”
Outreach to Haiti is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization that is working in Haiti to provide, food, medical services, clean water, and many other services to help support the Haitian people.
The Batey Foundation is a non-profit with the mission of raising the living standards of the present generation of children and their families living in the Bateys of the Dominican Republic who are severely affected by poverty, disease, and hunger, while promoting sustainable development for future generations.