MC students host benefit dinner Oct. 29 for Bompata Educational Fund

MC students host benefit dinner Oct. 29 for Bompata Educational Fund

Oct. 26, 2009

An authentic Ghanaian meal and an opportunity to learn more about Maryville College's ties to a small West African village are on the agenda for the upcoming Bompata Educational Fund Benefit Dinner.

The dinner, scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Oct. 29, at the Martin Luther King Community Center in Alcoa, is open to the community.

Tickets are $5 for MC students and children (ages 11 and younger); $10 for adults; and $20 for families. Tickets may be purchased at the door or through MC's Samuel Tyndale Wilson Center for Campus Ministry.

The Bompata Educational Fund at Maryville College seeks to provide educational opportunities for Ghanaian students in Bompata by funding scholarships and maintaining personal, cross-cultural relationships.

The Peace and World Concerns committee at MC, who provides outlets for expressing global concern through educational programming and international projects, is hosting the dinner.

MC senior Nicole Cashen, who studied in Ghana during the fall of 2008 and visited in the summer of 2009, said that goal of the dinner is two-fold: to raise $1,400 to establish the fund and to provide an opportunity for a cultural exchange.

The College's relationship with the people of Bompata, Ghana, began with Frank Twum-Barimah, a Ghanaian who came to the College in 2000 and graduated in 2004. Since then, Twum-Barimah's father, a Presbyterian minister in the village, and his mother, a teacher, have hosted numerous Maryville College administrators, faculty and students who have traveled there to volunteer or intern with non-profit agencies.

The Bompata Educational Fund originated earlier this year with a January-term trip to Bompata. The MC students on that trip committed to sponsor 14 children.

"We are always being encouraged to find a cause and change the world. It really is like what Ghandi said, ‘be the change you want to see in the world,'" commented Cashen. "There is more to [Africa] than poverty. The people are nurturing and live full and vibrant lives."

For more information, call 865.981.8299 or contact Cashen at

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.