Rossland to London: RSS Drama Students Gear up for Big Trip

Allyson Kenning
By Allyson Kenning
February 3rd, 2011

Now that February is upon us and the sun is shining (though who knows for how long) it’s getting easier to see that spring is more than a mere dream around here, and that means that spring break is getting so close you can feel it. The anticipation of this year’s spring break is palpable for 12 Rossland Secondary students who will be embarking on an epic journey to London during their holiday. It’s so close, they can almost taste the fish and chips (friendly note to the students from someone with experience: avoid steak and kidney pies. Trust me). Yet there is still much to be done before their take-off date of March 20.   Fundraising continues to run full force with this group of intrepid teens, who are going to be accompanied by four adults, one of whom is drama instructor Lisa Henderson. The students will be having their second bottle drive of the school year on February 26th. “Our last bottle drive [in October] was very successful,” says Ms. Henderson. “It was probably our second most successful bottle drive ever.” Generous donations from community members raised about $1500 at the October drive. The drama students also run the concession at the monthly Joe Hill Coffee House, and they ran a concession at last weekend’s Winter Carnival. Additionally, they did the concession for last Thursday’s Ski Bum: The Musical performance at RSS.   Money raised from these events goes to other out-of-pocket costs the students will have in addition to the $2800 price tag for the trip: things like an overnight hotel stay in Spokane on their way to London, meals on planes and while waiting for connections in airports, and tipping coach drivers in London.   But there is one extra fundraiser going on that was created by Franck Herlaud, father of Marlon Herlaud, a student going on the trip. This is the hopefully-soon-to-be-infamous PARIS-LONDON-NEW YORK-ROSSLAND bumper stickers.   “Franck came up with this idea to create these stickers, and he did all the work behind it. He designed them, he went all over the place to find out where he could get them mass produced at the best price. He got them done down in the States, and brought them across the border in big boxes. He printed thousands of them! The idea is that the profits will go towards a special fund for RSS students who would love to go on some of these cultural trips, but can’t afford to.” Mr. Herlaud used his own money for this project, to the tune of a few hundred dollars.   The stickers are undoubtedly very cool, and they are selling for $3 apiece. They made their debut at the Joe Hill Coffee House on the 16th of January, and since then about 50 have been sold. The hope is that the Chamber and other businesses in town, and even Red Mountain, will be willing to help sell the stickers on behalf of the students.   In return, Ms Henderson plans to do a little cross-Atlantic advertising for Rossland by taking the stickers with her to London. “We’re going to try to sneak a few onto a subway in London. We’re going to bring a handful and plant them in places where we won’t get arrested,” she says with a mischievous laugh. “Then we’ll get our pictures taken next to our sticker. And we hope Londoners will appreciate it since the sticker does say “London” on it!”   Also at the Joe Hill Coffee House on the 16th, one of the big name performers gave the students an unexpected helping hand. “We got a $100 from Alex Atamanenko. When we did our plug there, he came up to me at the end of the night and gave me a cheque for the group, which was very generous of him,” said Henderson. The group’s itinerary has been fleshed out, and now includes four plays, and two workshops, one at the National Theatre. They’ll also have a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, though due to the theatre’s schedule, seeing a play won’t be possible when they’re there. Apart from drama-related activities, the students will see the usual London tourist draws like the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and places like Whitechapel, Penny Lane, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.   Community support for this adventure has been tremendous, says Henderson. “And we hope they [the community] continue to support us as they have by coming to our events and buying our food and buying our stickers.”   If you are interested in one of the super chic bumper stickers, you can contact Lisa Henderson to purchase them; she can be reached at 362-9063, or by email at old_grey_mare_55@hotmail.com.   The bottle drive, as mentioned, will be February 26, starting at 9am and going to approximately 3pm, and will take place in the empty lot next to Mountain Haus at the corner of Columbia Avenue and Spokane Street. Curbside pick-up will also happen during that time, but if you want to arrange to have your empties picked up so your house isn’t missed, you can call Lisa Henderson via the above contact information, or you can call Mary Ann at 362-7302 and Diane at 362-7388.

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