Kelleys bring dancers to America

Anthony and Tonya Kelley are in the midst of putting together one of the more impressive goodwill tours this area has seen in a long time. The current Washington Husky linebacker befriended a girls' dance group, the Ipintombi Dancers during his visits to South Africa, and has now brought the dancers to Seattle. The Kelleys need your help to make the dancers' experience in the Northwest the best it can be. Here are some ways you can help.

"I'm really excited right now," Tonya told Dawgman.com today, explaining that her answering machine is completely full. The best way Husky fans can help out is by making a donation to the Church that is acting as the financial conduit for this endeavor.

Checks can be sent to:
                             St. Therese School
		             c/o Tonya Kelley	
		   6349 NE Radford Dr., #3617
		            Seattle, WA 98115


Please make your donation out to 'St. Therese School', and put 'Ipintombi Dancers' on the note at the bottom left-hand corner of the check. The Washington compliance department has cleared Anthony to take part in this fund-raising effort, so let your voices be heard with your checkbooks.

"The biggest things we are looking for are entertainment and food," Tonya said. " I just moved to Seattle, so I'm not as familiar with Seattle as most. I know places like the Space Needle and the Zoo. We would love to take them to the Zoo, as I've heard there is an African exhibit there. They also really need food." We are recommending a financial contribution for food in lieu of canned goods.

Tonya also wanted to let those who are interested in housing dancers know that they already have a group of volunteers that are taking care of them.

The dancers' will be involved in various performances during their 6-week stay, including one this Friday. They will be at the Radford Court Community Center, 6301 65th Ave NE in Seattle for a performance that starts at 7PM and will last roughly two hours.

Their next big performance will be held at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle on June 29th, starting at 7PM. Tickets will be on sale this Friday at the Radford Court Community Center performance, and the dancers will earn one dollar for every ticket that is sold.

Tonya anticipates at least a few more performances before the dancers leave to return to South Africa. Anything you can do to help brighten their experience in Seattle is appreciated. Below is a press release giving more information about the dancers and the Kelley's efforts to bring them to the United States.

Husky Football Player and spouse bring South African Youth Ipintombi Dancers to Seattle for Cultural/Educational Experience

Seattle, WA - Anthony Kelley, a UW Husky football player, and his wife, Tonya Kelley lives were forever changed by their experiences when they visited South Africa as a family in 2001. They witnessed firsthand the extreme poverty, youth gangs, violence and a very thin framework of an educational system that exists in 'post-apartheid South Africa'. In the midst of the poverty, hunger, chaos and despair faced by the youth living in the Township of Guguletu, Anthony and Tonya found one woman trying to salvage some of the local youth. In an effort to keep the youth of Guguletu away from gang temptations and poverty stricken streets, Ms. Micky began working with young girls in the township to give them a sense of belonging and cultural pride! Anthony and Tonya were so moved by her efforts in the face of great adversity that they have joined with her in trying to make a difference in the lives of these youth in the Guguletu Township.

Toward that end, Anthony and Tonya Kelley have been working hard over the past year to raise funds to bring the Ipintombi Dancers to Seattle for a cultural and educational experience. Fortunately, Anthony and Tonya have garnered enough support to cover transportation costs for Ms. Micky and a dozen or so Ipintombi Dancers. A special thanks goes to St. Therese School for serving as the Fiscal Agent for their ongoing fundraising efforts. The Ipintombi Dancers will arrive on Tuesday, June 11, 2002. This is the beginning of what both Anthony and Tonya see as a lifelong commitment to improving the educational opportunities of the Ipintombi Dancers; as well as providing them opportunities to share their cultural music and dance with the world.

Their performance schedule is being finalized now…African American Academy, June 13; UW Black Graduation, June 14; UW Comparative History and Ideas Department, June 14; UW Athletic Graduation, June 14; Children's Hospital, (TBD); Seattle Young People's Project, (TBD), St. Therese School, (TBD); YMCA Homeless Youth Program, June 22; Summer Supper Song, June 23; Paramount Theater, June 29; Seattle University Redhawks, July 6, St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, July 10. There are additional events being planned during this summer's stay of the Ipintombi Dancers. However, there are performance dates open; please contact Tonya if you are interested. All proceeds benefit the Ipintombi Dancers!

Watch for Ipintombi Dancer's events publicized in local papers, radio and TV stations.

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