WCU students look to lend a hand in Pakistan

Western Carolina University students working to raise $50,000 to build a school in Pakistan are hosting a fundraising dinner and silent auction at Chef’s Table in Waynesville on Tuesday, April 5.

Tickets to the event are $50 for a three-course meal. Silent auction items include art, a kayak trip, wine tasting and Arabic items. Diners can purchase tickets to a 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. seating.

The school fundraising effort was revived last fall after WCU student Andy Miller befriended students from Saudi Arabia studying English at WCU and felt compelled to be part of something that would build good will between Americans and Arabs.

As he thought about the possibilities, he remembered a proposal made by his Freshman Convocation speaker, Winford Gordon, for WCU to raise $50,000 for the Central Asia Institute to build a school in Pakistan, which, like Saudi Arabia, is predominantly a Muslim country.

“I went onto WCU’s website and typed in ‘build a school in Pakistan,’ expecting to see somebody had been doing something but I found nothing,” said Miller. “I e-mailed Windy Gordon and set up a time to meet. He said a group had gotten together but fell apart. I said, ‘I am interested. I would like to take the lead on this project.’”

“Beyond the project itself, which will change lives in Pakistan, everyone who works with Andy will connect their Western Carolina experience with a world and a culture far beyond our campus,” said Winford Gordon, a WCU psychology professor. “Everyone learns. Everyone benefits. Isn’t that the best of all worlds?”

Funds will go to the school-building project through the Central Asia Institute.

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