African Orphanage Lures Local Residents

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Two of Taylor Pool's lifeguards have their sights set on a four-month stay in Africa.

Austin White and Melleny McLaws will travel to Uganda in December as volunteers assigned to teach English to orphans.

"That would be our main job but we would also help them build gardens, repair the orphanage and do other things," White said.

Although White is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has served on a church mission, he says the trip to Africa is not church related.

"We are doing this with a group of 10 volunteers," he said.

The former Payson High School basketball star, who will graduate in December from Brigham Young University-Hawaii, learned of the humanitarian program last school year.

"We had a man come to one of my classes and talk about volunteers being needed in three orphanages in Africa," he said.

"They have three types of orphanages -- new born and infant; 4 to 8 years of age; and 18-years," he said. "We would be in one of those."

When the 1996 PHS graduate returned to Payson to resume his summer job as a Taylor Pool lifeguard and swimming instructor, he told the staff about his goal of traveling to the foreign country.

McLaws, a fellow swimming instructor whose goal it is to someday become a dental hygienist, was intrigued with the idea of volunteering in the orphanages.

Because she will graduate from Payson High School in December, McLaws is eligible to participate in the adventure.

After much discussion about the hardships of such a trip, the two agreed they would volunteer.

But before the two can begin their crusade, they must earn the money to pay the expenses of the overseas jaunt.

One of the fund raisers they have settled on is a homemade pie sale. Customers can purchase 10-inch pies for $10 each. The pies come in four varieties -- chocolate cream, coconut cream, banana cream and lemon meringue.

Hawking pies for a good cause is nothing new for White's mother Pam. Years ago, when her daughter Amber and son Sterling were earning money for a sports and cultural exchange to Australia, she spent most of her free time in the family kitchen concocting the homemade treats.

"We sold about 300 for Amber and about 250 for Sterling," she said.

The pies, which the Whites say are available for delivery, are available through Aug. 22.

To order, call Austin White at (928) 474-5043.

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