W4WO to host fundraiser for Cambodian girls

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The women of Women 4 Women Ohio (W4WO) have been meeting to plan their next event -- a Chinese Cambodian New Year's Party on Feb. 8 in downtown Kent.

Once again Jeff and Matt Guska, co-managers of the 157 Lounge, have provided their new martini bar as the site for this fun event.

The $30 reservation fee covers two drinks and an array of Asian appetizers.

Inspired by the book "Half the Sky, Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide," written by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn, W4WO is dedicated to supporting girls and women in under-developed countries through education.

The group has been raising money to support scholarships for high school and university-bound girls in Cambodia who would otherwise be unable to attend school.

Countless studies have shown that improving the level of education for girls in lesser-developed countries increases economic development and stability for the whole country.

Beyond that, young girls like Louer Phaong, Keat Srey, and Seng Hing, three of the 11 of the group's scholarship recipients, must overcome many challenges to pursue their education.

Members of the Women 4 Women Ohio group are Sharon Irwin, Fran Goté, Janet Dix, and Suzanne Frank, all of Kent; Ruth Andrews of Hudson; Judy Hirschman of Stow; and Nancy Docherty and Helen Gregory, both of Streetsboro.

Women 4 Women Ohio is a chapter of Friendship with Cambodia, a nonprofit organization based in Eugene, Ore., that has a history of participation in worthy causes in Cambodia.

"Their experience and knowledge base has been critical in providing direction and support for our fledgling organization," said Gregory.

It directs funds to Cambodian organizations that screen the scholarship applicants and provide reports on their progress. With this new arrangement, donations to W4WO are now tax-deductible.

While the official Cambodian New Year's holiday falls in April, many Cambodians are of Chinese descent and will be celebrating the Chinese New Year at festivals across the country in February.

The Chinese/Cambodian New Year's Party, slated for 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lounge, 157 S. Water St., in Kent, is open to the public. To register, send a check for $30 per person, made out to W4WO, to P.O. Box 1413, Kent, OH 44240.

To learn more about the organization, go to the website: www.w4wo.org.

(photo)

Furthering the cause for young women in Cambodia are, from left, Sharon Irwin, Ruth Andrews, Suzanne Frank, Nancy Docherty, Fran Goté, Helen Gregory, and Janet Dix. Also a member of Women 4 Women Ohio is Judy Hirschman.

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