News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Dinner event supports children in Nepal

Ten Friends Silent Auction and Himalayan Dinner, sponsored by the Cascades Academy MUSE Club, will be held Wednesday, December 14, 6 to 8 p.m. at Cascades Academy.

After two years of a virtual auction, this year’s event will be live. The evening will include speakers, a raffle, a dinner of dal bhat, and the silent auction. The auction will include an assortment of goods and experiences donated by local businesses and individuals. Items include a ski package donated by Crows Feet, a foodie’s package, with gift cards from all your favorite restaurants, a weekend stay in Sunriver, and much more.

The fundraising event and Ten Friends both have deep Sisters roots. Ten Friends began after two Sisters High School teachers, Mark LaMont and Rand Runco, and eight of their friends spent the summer of 2006 in Nepal. Upon returning home they wondered what they could do to help the people of Nepal. With support of friends and generous donors, Ten Friends became a reality that has grown and evolved over the years, now engaging hundreds of people from countries around the world.

Sisters resident Delaney Newport, when a student at Cascades Academy and whose older brother Ryley went to Nepal with Ten Friends, originated the silent auction and dinner as a fundraiser for Ten Friends. She started volunteering for the organization right after Ryley returned from Nepal, when she was eight. When she graduated from Cascades, a number of Sisters residents who supported Ten Friends pitched in to enable Ten Friends to present her with a ticket to Nepal at the last fundraiser she organized.

Once Newport graduated, Cascades student Louisa Lamarre, now in the 11th grade, along with the Academy’s MUSE club, kept the tradition going. MUSE is a local nonprofit that empowers women and young girls to take action and create positive social change.

“The Cascades Academy MUSE club, made up of high school girls, takes on many projects that either illustrate our values or create change in our community and world. Supporting Ten Friends is one of our projects,” Lamarre explained.

Ten Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives in the third world with simple, hands-on projects that make a big difference to people in need. They work predominately in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, with a culture based in simplicity. The goal of Ten Friends is to provide the Nepali people with basic needs like food, sanitation, shelter, and clean drinking water. Before they begin any project, they always ask those they are helping, “Is this something you need and can use?”

In the early days of the organization, Ten Friends founders traveled to Nepal most summers, sometimes taking high school students or friends as volunteers.

“Our very first project was delivering stretchers to villages along the trekking paths near Mr. Everest so that injured or sick villagers could be carried safely to hospitals. From that first project, other charitable opportunities arose, and Ten Friends began supporting sanitation, literacy (libraries), sponsorship of orphanages, and education,” their website explains.

Their helping others is of value to everyone involved. According to their website, “One of the most exciting things for us is to hear high school students who have traveled to Nepal on a Ten Friends work project tell us their career paths have changed as a result of the experience. For others who are not able to travel to Nepal, they are nonetheless able to find inspiration from children who are persevering in an orphanage or completing their education against all odds!”

After several years of running the fundraiser, Lamarre was able to travel to Nepal.

“I was able to raise money to travel there and build a library in the village of Khandbari. It was an incredible experience and I hope to go back as soon as possible. I also had the opportunity to join the Ten Friends board a couple of years ago, which has helped the auction grow and become more connected to the organization,” Lamarre said.

Last year, despite being virtual, with the help of the board they were able to raise over $10,000 to support Ten Friends. This year, with its being in person, they hope to match the $5,000 offered by the Ten Friends board.

“If we reach this goal, we will have raised enough money to send 10 Nepalese girls to school which would be very exciting!” Lamarre explained.

Cascades Academy is located at 19860 Tumalo Reservoir Rd. in Tumalo. The cost of the evening is $10 per person and reservations can be made at


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