Bazaar in Snohomish benefits orphanage

SNOHOMISH — When she left her job with the Snohomish School District, Kim Boyer couldn’t have imagined that life would lead her to Bali.

Boyer, 59, now operates — from afar — a nonprofit orphanage on the Indonesian island. Called My Father’s Home, the Christian facility is now housing and schooling 36 orphaned and impoverished children, ages 8 to 14. It was built in 2008, largely with a contribution from Boyer’s mother. Children began living there the following year.

They were once “the poorest of the poor,” said Boyer, who is retired after a dozen years as an administrative assistant with the school district.

“This was not in my life plan,” Boyer said.

On Saturday, Cross View Church in Snohomish will host the fifth annual Bali Bazaar, a sale of handcrafted items from the island. Items include basketry, purses, jewelry and woodcrafts. Proceeds from the event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, will benefit My Father’s Home.

Boyer’s introduction to Bali came by chance. Her elderly aunt, Beverly Rogers, had employed as an aid Tasha Darsono, a woman from Bali. Rogers, who died in 2007, was the widow of Charles “Buddy” Rogers, an early film actor previously married to silent movie legend Mary Pickford.

Boyer said that Darsono’s grandfather “had been one of the last kings of Bali.” Today, Darsono is the on-site director of My Father’s Home. “My aunt fell in love with Tasha,” Boyer said.

After Boyer’s aunt died, Darsono worked for Boyer’s mother, Marian Stahl. The elderly sisters both lived in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Boyer’s mother died in 2011.

Darsono had shared a hope with Boyer’s mother, that she would someday have a home for orphans on Bali. “Out of the blue, my 84-year-old mom said ‘Let’s build it,’” Boyer said.

Today, Boyer and her husband Brian make two trips each year to Bali, staying about three weeks each time. For Boyer, Darsono is more than a partner. “We’re sisters,” she said.

My Father’s Home is supported by sponsorships of children and other donations.

Some residents are orphans, including a girl who was 4 when she was rescued from a trash bin where she foraged for food. Others, Boyer said, were abandoned by parents too poor to support them. Some boys from the island of Sumba have scars from battles with rival villagers.

“There are a lot of throwaway kids,” Boyer said. Some children live at My Father’s House with their parents’ permission. Along with Darsono, the facility has two counselors, a cook and maintenance people. Children attend a Catholic school. Christian worship is part of the facility’s program, as are basketball and soccer.

Annual bazaars began after Boyer realized that bags they filled with supplies when they traveled to Bali were coming home empty. They started buying crafts on Bali to bring back for fund-raising sales.

Tonight, at a 7 p.m. sale preview at Cross View Church, there will be a talk about My Father’s Home. Boyer said the children have email, and that some sponsors have visited them in Bali.

“It is a home of love,” she said.

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

Bali Bazaar

Handcrafted items from Bali, including scarves, purses and jewelry, will be on sale at a Bali Bazaar 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Cross View Church, 604 Ave. C, Snohomish. Proceeds will benefit My Father’s Home, a nonprofit orphanage on Bali, Indonesia. Learn more about My Father’s Home at a sale preview at 7 tonight at the church. Information: www.myfathershome.net.

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