Rotary club to hold garage sale fundraiser for student trip

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By Steve Van Kooten


It’s easy to trace a path from Wisconsin to San Francisco; it’s a straight line that cuts a path through the central and western states to the edge of the Pacific Ocean. From there, it’s a series of quick swipes to Arizona, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and, finally, San Diego.

Bethania Sperotto Grando, an exchange student from Brazil, will follow that path on her west coast trip in June, after high school graduation.

The trip is an opportunity for Grando to explore different parts of the country before she returns home.

“The U.S. is such a huge country. Each part is like its own country,” she said.

Grando is one of several exchange students on the trip, which will give her time to learn about their experiences and their native countries.

To help fund her trip, Grando and the Rotary Club, who have sponsored her stay in Wisconsin, will hold a garage sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 5 and 8 a.m. to noon on April 6 at 750 S. Beaumont Road in Prairie du Chien.

“I feel like helping with the fundraising is going to help me travel more and see more of the country. When you leave home and your family and get in contact with other people, you realize how much you can learn and how big the world is,” she said.

Grando has resided in southwest Wisconsin for seven months; she’s lived with three families in the Prairie du Chien area, including a single-parent household and a large family in the Village of Eastman.

“That’s one of the things with the families who were selected,” said David Wesener, a member of the Prairie du Chien Rotary Club. “It’s so she gets different experiences.”

According to Wesener, the Rotary Club has an exchange program for students that is different from other, similar programs. The program provides students with contacts for other exchange students in their area and exchange officers for support during their stay.

“It’s really a cultural exchange; in fact, some exchanges are strictly educational, whereas the rotary one is cultural.”

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