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Weston student organizes trip to the theater
A senior at Weston High School who will be graduating in September, Lacey Walker was instrumental in making it possible for 90 of her fellow classmates at Weston and the Freshman Academy to travel to Seattle to see "The Diary of Ann Frank" before school let out this year.
"It was awesome," Walker said. "A lot of kids at first said let's not go but they ended up enjoying it."
In the end they appreciated learning about Ann Frank's life.
"They had a good time and a couple of kids thanked me," Walker said.
Walker helped Arlington School District director Carolyn Erickson raise nearly $2,000 to cover the cost of three buses and tickets to the Intiman Theater production.
"It was part of my senior project," Walker said. She started working on the project in February, visiting Arlington's service groups to ask for donations. She scored $1,000 from the Rotary Club of Arlington, $600 from the Arlington Kiwanis Club and $200 from the Arlington Lions Club.
Walker said she was approached by Erickson, who asked her if she was interested in helping out.
"I met with Ms. Stanton and Ms. Erickson every Monday morning at 7:45 a.m.," Walker said.
Erickson explained that she had spent a lot of time the year before seeking money to take the kids to a show, and was not up to doing it all herself again.
"I got a call from Maurine Stanton who knew I had taken the kids to see 'The Freedom Writers' movie last year," Erickson said, adding she had pounded the streets seeking donations to take the kids to the movie at the Olympic Theater.
"I wasn't up to doing it all myself again," Erickson said.
Thanks to Walker and Erickson, the students had an eye-opening experience.
Walker said that many of the students had never seen a live professional theater production. They attended a morning production presented especially for students.
"We left the school at 9 a.m. and got back by 2," Walker said.
"I have always been interested in learning about the Holocaust," she added.
"The whole thing was very touching."
Erickson said she got interested in Ann Frank's life when she visited her home in Amsterdam. She was inspired to learn more about the Holocaust after she met a guest speaker a few years ago who had a barcode on his arm.
"I heard that some kids had never been to Seattle and I thought it would be nice for them to have this opportunity. During the show, I was watching the kids' expressions and I heard them talk on the way back to Arlington," Erickson said.
"I think [the play] made a lot of the kids see things a lot differently," she said.
"I'd like to thank the groups who gave so generously."