Father Tom
Top photo: Father Tom (center) with friars
Bottom photo: Father Tom's Kids

Music department hosts benefit for African orphanage

By Ashley Harris
Public Affairs Specialist

(June 14, 2007)--Faculty members of UTSA's Department of Music held an April 14 concert at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in San Antonio to benefit Father Tom's Kids, a boarding school for poor and orphaned children in Kisumu, Kenya.

The concert raised more than $3,500 for the orphanage. Additionally, eight children from the home have new sponsors to support their room, board, schooling, clothing and books for a year.

The hosting faculty members and performers included Linda Poetschke, Melody Rich, Christine Debus, Gary Mabry, Kasandra Keeling, Diana Allan, Catherine Nix and John Nix. KENS TV weatherman Paul Mireles served as master of ceremonies.

Father Tom's Kids is named after Thomas Richard Heath, a Dominican friar who spent the last eight years of his life serving the people of Kenya. Father Tom died in January 2005 from injuries received from armed robbers who seized the compound in Kisumu.

The organization pairs sponsors with orphans and needy students, many of whom are children of parents who have died of HIV/AIDS. Sponsored students are provided one year of school fees, boarding, school supplies, basic medical care, uniforms and books. Committed to the character formation of the students, the program stresses that education is the foundation for creating a more just society.

For more information on Father Tom's Kids, contact Catherine Nix at (210) 695-8020.

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