Dance to aid relief for Darfur

The six-year conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, an area torn by multiple rival groups based on ethnic, religious and tribal differences, has killed hundreds of thousands of people and sent millions into refugee camps.

It's a story that has affected Aleah Gonzal-ves, a 17-year-old student at Enochs High School. She's organizing a dance Saturday at Congregation Beth Shalom for high school students that will raise money for the Darfur peace process.

"I was aware of the tragedies in Darfur, and I wanted to make a difference in some way," she said Thursday. "The reason I wanted to have a dance was to attract kids to come. I want to educate them about what's going on there."

The $10 entry fee and money raised by selling "Save Darfur" T-shirts and wristbands will go to a Darfur peace and relief agency. There will be an auction, and food, beverages and information packets about Darfur will be available. Free wristbands will be given to the first 50 teens.

A DJ will spin tunes from hip hop to country, rock and pop. "All the songs teens like," Gonzalves said.

Security officers will enforce a dress cod. No gang colors, hats or too-revealing outfits will be allowed. Students need a valid ID to get into the dance.

The event will be held from 8:30 to 11:45 p.m. Saturday at Congregation Beth Shalom, 1705 Sherwood Ave., Modesto. For more information, call 484-9496.