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Submitted Photo Annie Lesnar and Kailey Wendland, who will be performing Tuesday for ADFA, pose with Father Leszek, director of the Cana Center in Kibeho, Rwanda.

All Day Fore Africa hits a high note

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News Worthington,Minnesota 56187
Daily Globe
All Day Fore Africa hits a high note
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

WORTHINGTON -- "Kids playing for Kids" --that has always been the motto of All Day Fore Africa. However, this year it applies to more than just the golf course.


All Day Fore Africa (ADFA) is a non-profit corporation founded by Kate Lesnar, a senior at Worthington High School.

"One day I was sitting at the golf course with my mom, and she was telling me about how she'd play golf all day as a kid," Kate said. "I thought it'd be cool to do that, too. I also wanted to raise money for the school in Africa that I was going to visit. That same day I had an event scheduled, and I had my first pledge."

Kate raised $10,000, which went to building a water system for the African town. Word spread, and more people from the community got involved.

Last year, more than a dozen kids and adults came together to golf in the second annual ADFA golf tournament.

There were also events in California, Pennsylvania and Nebraska, organized by kids who'd heard of Kate's efforts.

All together, the corporation raised $30,000, which was used to put in new bathrooms and an outdoor sports area for the school.

"The support from the community was incredible," Kate said. "I was amazed to see how people supported it."

This year ADFA is going country. Sort of.

Kate's sister, Annie, and close friend Kailey Wendland will perform Tuesday at BenLee's Café as an ADFA event.

"Our siblings golfed in the years before. Annie and I decided to play guitar and sing because we wanted to participate more," said Kailey.

Kailey's family has been involved in ADFA since the beginning. Her brother, Kyle, golfed in the event last year and caddied for Kate the first year. She and her mother also helped sew dresses for the children.

In the past, Annie and Kailey made signs and cheered on the golfers. Last year they had their own golf cart with soft drinks and candy bars to hand out.

Now they'll be playing, too -- but with guitars instead of golf clubs.

"The motto for ADFA has always been 'Kids playing for Kids,' and that still holds true," said Kathy Lesnar, mother of Kate and Annie. "It doesn't matter what they do. They can play whatever they want to play."

Father Leszek is a Polish missionary who built the school in Kibeho.

"The children went to school in a really small building, and to get there they had a really long walk, and went by a river. During the rainy season, the river was dangerous, and a couple of kids died," Leszek said.

In 2005 he started the project to build a new school for 250 children, and four years later, the school opened.

Now the school has 700 students, and the money raised from this year's ADFA events will go toward the school.

"Kibeho is a poor town, and Rwanda is a poor country," Kathy said. "Education is the only way out of that poverty, and for them it's only available through the generosity of others."

In Africa, all children go to primary school. To go to secondary school, they must past an entrance exam and pay a school fee. Most families can't afford it.

One of ADFA's goals is to create scholarships for kids so they can continue their education.

"If we had the top five kids get scholarships, then they'll be able to continue their education, and the younger kids will have motivation and a reason to do well. It will give them hope," Kathy said.

"Hope is life; it's the future," Leszek said.

"Great school, great children, great future" is the motto of the school in Kibeho.

"It's more than fundraising," Leszek said. "It's children working for other people. God will give what is necessary."

This summer there will be Vacation Bible School for the kids. They're also hoping to build a medical center for the town in the near future.

"One of the biggest benefits is that it comes back to the kids," Kathy said. "This gives them a reason to get involved, do something that they love to do and still do something good in the world."

Annie and Kailey will perform "a variety of pop music" from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at BenLee's Café in downtown Worthington. They will also sell notecards, bracelets and T-shirts for the event.

The golf tournament will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Worthington Country Club and continue throughout the day.

Donations can be made at both events.

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