Dexter students prepare to simulate homelessness

Posted Oct. 13, 2010, at 1:12 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:37 a.m.

DEXTER, Maine — Dexter Regional High School students expect to spend a wet night Saturday, Oct. 16, under a starless sky participating in their fourth annual Welcome to My Home fundraising event at Wayside Park.

The Dexter Regional High School Key Club will again co-sponsor the event with the student council, Seeds of Peace and the football team. The event is designed to raise funds for homeless agencies and awareness of homelessness. About $12,000 has been raised over the past three years through the event.

“This year, the groups are raising money for Shaw House in Bangor, Womancare of Dover-Foxcroft, Journey House of Dexter and Friend a Gorilla, a new Key Club charity to save the habitat and mountain gorillas of Uganda,” Key Club adviser Rick Whitney said Tuesday.

The students first will join Womancare during a walk at 5:30 p.m. from the high school to Wayside Park, where a brief moment of silence will be held in honor of Mindy Gould and Treven Cunningham, who were slain in 1999 in Dexter, and in honor of other victims of domestic violence. A candlelight vigil will follow to remember those who died from domestic violence, to celebrate the survivors of domestic violence and to affirm a nonviolent future. Anna Stuart will perform music, and light refreshments will be served.

After the vigil, the students will stay in the park from 6 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday equipped with only a cardboard box to sleep in and a blanket or sleeping bag to provide some warmth. Barrel fires and a can of soup at midnight will be their only other comforts. Electronic devices are banned from the event.

The students hope to raise $4,000 at this year’s event and are collecting pledges. The students also are collecting new blankets, toiletry items and nonperishable food items.

The public is invited to stop by during the night and drop off donations and visit with the students.