Helping Local Schools

Before his June, 2011 plains game hunt to South Africa, Brian Bode and his friend Tom Darnley decided that they wanted to do something to help the people of South Africa. So Brian and Tom asked their professional hunter what they could do to help. Drom Buekes, the owner/operator of Somerby Safaris, told them that in the winter there is no heat in the one-room country school where many of the children of his safari staff go to school. The school is in the countryside outside Clarens in Free State and Drom was especially concerned for the feet of the students because the school sits on a concrete floor with only patches of carpet and their feet get cold.

Working with various student organizations at Kansas City Kansas Community College, a "Carpet for a Cause" fund-raiser netted the $1,500 necessary to install a carpet, with a one inch of fiber insulation layer to help keep out the cold. Brian added a much-needed blackboard to the donation, and they were off on their adventure. Prior to arriving, the students removed the old carpeting in the school, cleaned it, and a local company installed new carpeting in the classroom.

When Brian and Tom got there, it was about 40-45 degrees in the classroom and the kids were all wearing scarves and coats. However, their feet were warm and because they had a new carpet and a new blackboard to replaced an old broken one. Brian also presented the school with a large Kansas City Kansas Community College flag and a book from the College's Early Childhood Educator students that was read to the students. They were treated with songs and heartfelt appreciation from the students and their teacher. Brian remembers the hunting being awesome, but there were no dry eyes in the house and perhaps no better memories than when he saw the joy the students showed for the gifts he had given them.

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