The following details fill in background from our extensive story written yesterday:
Silsby’s interest in Haiti is connected to her father, who did missionary dental work there.
Standing in his living room, which is decorated with portraits of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln praying, John Sander said his daughter’s motives shouldn’t be misconstrued because her group’s efforts went awry. “In their intent to do something good they may have been a touch naive about what was required. You can be blinded by your ambition.” He added: “We’re hoping and praying the judge will see the intent of her heart was not to do anything wrong.” via WSJ
Silsby’s charity New Life Children’s Refuge began buying land in Magante, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, with the intention of building ann orphanage for as many as 200 chidlren. The vision included a school, a chapel and seaside villas for adopting parents.
In Idaho, Silsby envisioned a “multi-million-dollar complex” for runaway children on a 40-acre lot in Kuna County, Idaho, according to Eric Evans, owner of Eric Evans Construction in Meridian. Ms. Silsby told him it would have an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts and dormitories for the children, said Mr. Evans, adding that she had discussed having him build the project. Ms. Silsby’s mother said she had never heard of any such plan. via WSJ
After the earthquake, the group headed to Haiti with the intention of renting a 45-room hotel in Cabarente, a coastal town in the Dominican Republic near Magante, where they intended to house Haitian children while building their permanent facility.
As it stands, Laura Silsby is described by her parents as a not irresponsible person, but rather a talented woman suffering from a bad economy.
Being the jaded, experienced in business New Yorker, I admit that when I read that Ms Silsby drove around her small Idaho town in a blue Leus convertible with a dog named Bentley, it struck me that perhaps she would fit in here with my crowd.
Perhaps Silsby’s talents are just too sophisticated for a small town of well-meaning Americans trying to help kids in Haiti. Anne
Read our in-depth story from yesterday: