The cross-cultural experience for Irish teens and their American host families promotes peace, tolerance and trust.
BOARDMAN -- The Mahoning Valley Ulster Peace Project has two fund-raisers in the works to help raise $15,000. The funds are used to underwrite a trip to the United States by teen-agers from Northern Ireland.
High-school rock bands will compete for cash and prizes in a "Rock Off" from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke Banquet Center, 5235 South Ave. Doors open at 2:30.
The winning band also will be awarded a cash prize for its high-school music department.
Tickets, which are $5, will be available at the door, from band members or by calling Craig Warden at (330) 758-7692.
Dinner and concert
The organization also will sponsor its third annual Amish dinner and Cahal Dunne concert May 4 at St. Charles Church hall, Route 224. There will be two buffet servings, the first from 4:30 to 5 p.m. and the second from 5:15 to 6:30.
Students of the Burke School of Irish Step Dancers will perform at 7 and Dunne at 7:30.
There also will be a raffle of items, including an Amish quilt, an original framed watercolor, theater tickets and golf gift certificates.
Dinner-only or concert-only tickets are $12. Dinner and concert tickets are $23. Raffle tickets are $1 or six for $5. Tickets may be obtained by calling Leo and Rosie Jay at (330) 758-8546 or Craig and Susie Warden at (330) 758-7692.
All proceeds from the fund-raisers will benefit the Mahoning Valley Ulster Peace Project.
Background of the project
This summer the Ulster Project will mark its 15th year in the Mahoning Valley. Twelve 15-year-olds, six boys and six girls, equally Protestant and Roman Catholic, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, will travel to the United States for a monthlong stay. They will be paired with American teens of the same age, religion and gender in a host family. Two counselors will accompany the young people.
The object of the Ulster Project is to promote peaceful parity among Catholics and Protestant teens by building tolerance, trust and ongoing positive relationships.
The Ulster Project was established in 1974 by the Rev. Kerry Waterstone of Northern Ireland and the Rev. Steve Jacobson of Manchester, Conn., who participated in a summer pastoral exchange. The Rev. Mr. Waterstone saw how his sons were influenced by the freedom and ecumenical spirit in America and wanted other Irish teens to benefit from the cross-cultural experience. Now the Ulster Project has grown to more than 28 cities in the United States.
In 1986 the Junior Women's League of Canfield, led by Sally Murphy Pallante and Donna Broker, initiated a series of programs that culminated in the formation of the Ulster Project Communities for Peace. July 1988 marked the first Mahoning Valley Ulster Peace Project.