The Hi Ute Hoedown, presented by the local nonprofit Devoted to Children, will be held on Saturday, June 28. The funds raised will help the
The Hi Ute Hoedown, presented by the local nonprofit Devoted to Children, will be held on Saturday, June 28. The funds raised will help the organization's children's home in Jacmel, Haiti. (Photo courtesy of Kristie Buehner)
Last year, the Park City-based nonprofit organization Devoted to Children, which recently established a children's home in Jacmel, Haiti, held a fundraiser hoedown at Hi Ute Ranch.

The money raised helped the eight children living in the home with clothing and education. Some of the money also helped install an aquaponics system that will help the children's home raise vegetables and fish.

This year, Devoted to Children (D2C) will host another Hi Ute Hoedown for Haiti on Saturday, June 28. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased by visiting hiutehoedown.eventbrite.com.

The goal this year is to raise enough money to sponsor the children for a year, said Devoted 2 Children's Kristie Buehner.

The displaced Haitian kids that are housed in the Devoted to Children’s home rely on sponsorships that help provide a safe and loving environment in
The displaced Haitian kids that are housed in the Devoted to Children's home rely on sponsorships that help provide a safe and loving environment in the home, education, healthy food and medical care. (Photo courtesy of Kristie Buehner)

"It takes $2,880 to sponsor one child a year, or $240 a month," Buehner said during an interview with The Park Record. "The sponsorship would include living in a safe and loving environment in the home, education, healthy food, medical care and enrichment activities like soccer and yoga."

The fundraiser will feature a night of entertainment by Artie Hemphill and the Iron Horse Band and opening artist Elizabeth Hareza.

The ticket price will also include dinner, catered by CupBop Korean Barbecue and Better Burger Truck.

"They offer a whole variety of foods including vegetarian and gluten-free items," Buehner said. "We will also feature a mechanical bull and a cash bar."

One of the highlights of the evening will be a silent auction.

"We will have gift certificates from local restaurants, a guitar signed by Neil Young and another item signed by Garth Brooks," Buehner said. "We will also have some items from Cole Sport and a three-night stay and a wine and cheese tasting event at the Fairmont in Nampa, Idaho."

If people can't attend the event and still want to donate, they can do so by visiting the eventbrite website.

"Donations can also be made through devoted2children.

Back row, L-R, Kristin O’Connell, Muriel Murphy and Kristie Buehner of Devoted to Children smile with four of the six Haitian orphans their
Back row, L-R, Kristin O'Connell, Muriel Murphy and Kristie Buehner of Devoted to Children smile with four of the six Haitian orphans their organization looks after. The nonprofit organization will host a hoedown fundraiser at the Hi Ute Ranch on June 29. (Photo courtesy of Kristie Buehner)
com," Buehner said.

Devoted to Children was established by Buehner's friend Kritsin O'Connell who went to Haiti in May of 2012 to work as a midwife in a birthing center, and saw the devastation that country suffered by an earthquake.

"There are about one million displaced children who have been orphaned, abandoned or enslaved, and she had that moment where she knew she wanted to do something, but didn't know what," Buehner said. "So, she took a leap and came home and contacted me and a couple of other women and we organized Devoted to Children."

The organization's projects are:

D2C Family Home

Yoga

Community Stability

"We have created a home of healing for the most vulnerable kids in Haiti, again orphaned or abandoned," Buehner said. "Right now the children living in the home are between the ages of 3 and 13. They will be in our care until they are adults."

That means they won't be adopted out into a foreign culture, she said.

"Haiti has made it almost impossible to adopt any children from the country," Buehner explained. "So we decided not to establish an orphanage, but a children's home and give them stability, education and life skills that will help better themselves so they can break the poverty cycle."

The yoga sessions help the children deal with traumatic stress.

" understanding the principle healing and relaxing philosophy of yoga, its benefits can help reduce the effects the stress in these kids," Buehner said. "We have already seen that happening and we will continue to spread that throughout the community of Jacmel, where the home is located."

Community stability is one of the most important goals of the organization.

"We felt if we have these kids in this beautiful family home, but are surrounded by an environment that is chaotic and awful, it will be hard for them to make it in life," Buehner said. "So we looked out into the community to see how we could help."

One way is to secure food.

"Haiti imports approximately 85 percent of its food from other countries," Buehner said. "They aren't growing much, so one of the community projects we completed last March was the aquaponics.

"Now we have this beautiful project on our property in Haiti and they are growing vegetables and we are raising fish," she said. "It will expand from there."

Buehner said installing aquaponics would help the kids help themselves.

"One of the problems in Haiti is that many people have just donated items, food and charity over a long period of time, and unfortunately, that has created a nation that can't help itself," she said. "We didn't want to come in like other organizations and just give these people something.

"We want to help these people to learn how to do things on their own," Buehner said. "We want them to become educated and develop life skills that they can give back to their community and their world. Failure is not an option. We've created this family of kids and we can't let them down."

Devoted to Children will host the second Hi Ute Hoedown for Haiti at the Hi Ute Ranch, 2379 Kilby Rd., on Saturday, June 28, from 6:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 and are available by visiting hiutehoedown.eventbrite.com.