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STLCC-Forest Park PTK Officer Spearheads PlayPumps Fundraising

January 02, 2008

Wanda LaneWanda Lane is using her love of writing and theater as a means to help others less fortunate.

Lane, 64, is a student at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park.  In September, Lane organized an event through Xi Epsilon, the campus Phi Theta Kappa international honor society chapter, to raise money for PlayPumps International (www.playpumps.org).  The organization installs pumps which resemble merry-go-rounds to bring clean water to rural communities in Africa


The fundraiser, "A Night of Theater and Dance," featured two plays written by Lane, who also produced and directed the event.  She also persuaded the SIU-ESL Performing Arts Dance Co. to dance in between the plays as a segue to bind it together.


Prior to their performance, the group rehearsed only the day before on stage.  Most had no prior acting experience.  That did not deter Lane, who is studying theater and one day would like to direct her own youth theatrical group.

"Theater teaches discipline and self-esteem," said Lane, mother of four grown children with eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  "I want to teach and instruct young people in the art of dramatic acting.  I believe that young people need to be involved in positive things that also are fun.  Kids need to feel good about themselves.  Unfortunately, some of our kids' family lives just don’t include that very necessary element of child rearing."


The performance raised more than $2,000.  Combined with other fundraisers, the chapter has raised nearly $3,775 for the PlayPumps project.  Lane, who serves as vice president of public relations for Xi Epsilon, said her play also may be performed at the PTK Regional Convention in St. Louis in February.