From around the world

North America Central Area

Church members help build playground

DELAFIELD, Wis. — Volunteers from surrounding communities, church congregations and members of the Kettle Moraine Ward, Milwaukee Wisconsin Stake, gathered here recently to build a play structure for children with disabilities.

The project was spearheaded by a member of the community who, while working with the children in the school district, wanted to build a play structure for all to use, including children with disabilities.

Several members of the Church served on the planning committees while others served in various capacities. One member of the Kettle Moraine Ward coordinated the feeding of 200 volunteers for six days, while a young woman in the ward helped the Relief Society organize meals for an entire day as part of her Laurel project.

The young men and women in the ward spent their activity night sanding and staining wooden slats, hauling gravel and mulch for the playground, setting posts, and assisting with the building of the structure.

Primary children participated by making thank you cards that were delivered to nearly 60 people and organizations that donated to the project.

The playground was under design for nearly a year and included the suggestions of 600 students attending the nearby elementary school. The final plan was adopted because it illustrated the community's history and natural environment. The plan created a challenging play space designed to help children strengthen muscles, develop coordination and gain a sense of community.

Money and equipment were donated by local businesses and community members. Tools used to build the structure were donated by a member of the ward. The value, explained Del Hendrickson, public affairs specialist in the Kettle Moraine Ward, was that "this old-time, barn-raising-like activity was a community effort that united people of many faiths."

North America Southwest Area

Stake recognized for service following tornado

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. &3151; As a result of the many thousands of hours donated by Church members following the devastating tornado here May 3, the Oklahoma City Oklahoma South Stake received official recognition from several communities recently.

Stake Pres. David Lawton was sent a letter of appreciation from Del City officials. Cameron Dobie, second counselor in the stake presidency, accepted a certificate of appreciation from Newcastle city officials in a special ceremony held at the Newcastle High School football stadium.

Brazil South Area

Ricks dancers perform in Brazil

CURITIBA, Brazil — Extravadance, which is a combination of the ballroom and contemporary dance teams from Ricks College, performed throughout Brazil this summer.

The Extravadance tour began in Curitiba, the capital of the state of Parana, and then proceeded to the state of Sao Paulo in the cities of Ribeirao Preto, Campinas, Jundiai, Sorocaba and Sao Paulo. In the state of Rio de Janeiro the dancers performed at the Agulhas Negras Military Academy, the institution that trains officers for the Brazilian Army. The tour ended in the city of Rio de Janeiro. More than 26,500 persons attended the performances, including more than 8,000 members of other churches.

Under the direction of the Brazil South Area presidency — and with the support of local priesthood leadership, members, public and private agencies — the group motivated youth and adults.

The presence of a performing group from North America was a novelty for many. Four television crews filmed the Extravadance programs and interviewed performers and members of the audience. One performance was televised by Globo, the second largest TV network in Brazil and the 10th in the world, and went to millions throughout Brazil.