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ROAST DAY A FUND RAISER FOR LEARNING CENTER TRIP

July 6, 2002 – A small band of intrepid John's Folly residents on St. John raise about $6,000 a year through food sales to fund after-school and weekend programs at the John's Folly Learning Institute.
It's accomplished through "one or two food sales a month," director Alvis Christian said.
That's a lot of potato stuffing, macaroni and cheese, and chicken. And there's all of that and more in the making for next Saturday's Roast Day, when residents will be raising funds to send 10 of the institute's students to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The event, which will include live music as well as food, is set to begin at 4 p.m. at the institute, housed in the former Horace Mann School on Route 107.
Christian said this one will be more of a party than just a food sale, with traditional dishes such as roast pork, chicken and goat, corn pork, pig tail, dove pork, souse and fry fish on the menu. He said the dozen or so cooks plan to roast the pig and goat right at the institute so people can see how cooking used to be done.
The menu also includes macaroni and cheese, peas and rice, seasoned rice, potato salad, plantains, potato stuffing, ground provisions, fungi, pork kallalou, seafood kallalou, tarts, local drinks and other beverages.
Dinners will be $15 for combination plates and $10 for single entrees with side dishes.
The group also is holding a raffle of various prizes including two-night getaways at the Caneel Bay and Westin St. John Resorts.
Christian led the effort to rehabilitate the old school beginning in 1996. Empty for decades, it was filled with manure and all manner of debris. Two years later, the John's Folly Learning Institute was holding classes.
A $40,000 U.S. Housing and Urban Development block grant helped with the reconstruction, but the organization continues to rely on food sales to keep the institute open and the children learning.
Since John's Folly is a long way from after school-programs in Cruz Bay, the institute fills a need. And since many of the community's elders attended the Horace Mann School, Christian sees it as fitting that the building continues to be used for education.
The Kennedy Space Center trip falls into the same category. Christian said group hopes to raise the airfare of $600 apiece for the 10 children. The institute will pick up the rest of the expenses, and the five adult chaperones, including Christian, will be paying their own way.
He said those who can't make it to the Roast Day but who want to help out with donations may send checks made out to John's Folly Learning Center to 13B Estate Hard Labor, St. John VI 00830.

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