By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Beth Debell, a resident of Little Falls and a fifth grade student at Lincoln Elementary, is planning a trip to Europe. She will travel with the People to People program to both London, England, and Paris, France, as a student ambassador to the United States.
“This is a once in a lifetime chance for me,” Debell said.
Debell’s mother, Jennie, thought the letter from the People to People committee was a scam and almost threw it away. But after talking with friends whose children had participated, she decided to check it out.
The first meeting with representatives from People to People in September 2013 hooked Debell.
“It’s going to be new places, new foods, new experiences,” she said.
Debell’s creativity has surfaced to raise the money needed to go on the two-week adventure. She has made bracelets and key fobs from rubber bands which she sells for $2 – $3 and her head bands sell for $4 – $5, depending on the style.
“I have 10 different styles to choose from and many different colors,” she said.
Debell also has fashionable scarves made from fleece, knotted yarns and ribbon.
So far, Debell has participated in two craft shows, one in Randall and one in Little Falls.
With her mother, Debell has designed many styles of gift baskets to sell. Some are filled with candy, some with kitchen utensils. There is even one with exotic jerkies. All are made to order.
“We will create gift baskets to anyone’s specifications,” said Jennie.
Also available from Debell are baked goods (Jennie has a degree in culinary arts). There are plans in the works for a spaghetti dinner and silent auction.
Debell has also sent out requests for donations from local businesses, set up an account at Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union in Little Falls under the name of Beth Debell for those who wish to donate and opened a Facebook page showing her wares.
While all this preparation for her adventure is taking up a lot of Debell’s time, she still finds the hours to dedicate to tae kwondo classes, Just For Kix dance practice, choir and band where she plays the clarinet.
Debell will first land in London June 13 with about eight other students. After touring the city, They will travel to Warwick, England, tour the Warwick Castle and train to be a medieval knight. Then on to Bath, England, and the hot springs. From there, the group will visit the ancient ruins of Stonehenge.
On the ninth day, the tour jumps to Normandy, France, where they will pay respect to fallen heroes from World War II.
They then tour Paris, the Chateau de Versailles, the Louvre Museum and Disneyland before heading home June 26.
The People to People program’s goal is to change students’ worlds through educational travel. It has been doing so for 50 years. There are trips to Australia, Costa Rica, Canada, China South Africa and the United States besides Europe. More than 1/2 million students have taken tours with People to People.
The tours are formulated to challenge future leaders by expanding their global awareness and giving them the confidence they need to succeed while they have the time of their lives.
To view a sample of Debell’s creations, go to www.facebook.com/pages/beths-People-to-People-trip/205957672939328. For more information about her fundraising products, contact Debell at (320) 630-4912.