With no classes in Thompson Oct. 18-19, LABAN Martial Arts & Fitness Studio opened its doors to get students off the couch and donating towards a good cause as it held all-day taekwondo classes and raised money for an African orphanage.
“Rather than have the children sit at home all day playing video games and just being unproductive, LABAN has decided to hold all-day classes whenever there is a school in-service,” said Maria Cecilia “Mitch” Nicolas, a fitness instructor at LABAN. “Hopefully, the students that didn’t make it to the all-day training must have been deep cleaning their houses or preparing a fabulous dinner for their parents.”
To make the day’s activities even more meaningful, LABAN also held a fundraiser for two days that brought in $405 that will go towards an orphanage in Tanzania. This was spurred on by an e-mail LABAN received two weeks ago from Father Prosper Lyimo, who previously served as the priest at St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church in Thompson.
"I have just received another letter from my Archbishop appointing me to be a chairperson of the body of the orphanage,” said the email. “The construction of this orphanage has just ended. The official opening will be in the end of November. Human and material resources are highly needed. I am kindly asking you to pass this request to individuals, friends and students who are interested to support or donate something (funds/money or material support) for orphans. We are facing many challenges! Please help us to meet these challenges effectively and efficiently with courage.”
LABAN students previously donated over $1,000 for the purchase of medical supplies and repairs to an orphanage and school in Tanzania, Father Lyimo’s native country.
“We know that it is not a huge amount, but every little bit will help another,” said Nicolas. “[LABAN owner] Mr. [Chris] Byrne likes to do things like this as 100 per cent of the monies raised goes directly to the cause (no middlemen) It is a true gift from the heart. The students learn about giving and being helpful, and the students are deepening their understanding of taekwondo while their teachers are away. The children are all very proud that their efforts of simply learning taekwondo all day can make a change for children far away in Tanzania, Africa. We would like to thank all our students, guardians and parents for donating. If there are any readers also interested in helping Father Prosper with the orphanage, please contact Mr. Byrne at 204-778-5425.”