Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Annual 'Night Under the African Stars' Benefit Gala

This is the event we are helping to coordinate which I mentioned in my post yesterday:

Event: Cornerstone of Hope Orphanage First Annual “Night Under the African Stars” Benefit Gala

Date: Saturday, August 22, 2009

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Hors d'oeuvres and African delicacies
5:30 - 7:00 Silent Auction
7:00 p.m. Musical presentation and Introduction of special guests
7:00 - 8:15 Dinner
8:15 - 9:30 Live Auction and Entertainment

Location: Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Church, Ankeny, Iowa

Event Chairperson: Nancy Dunham,

Cause: To raise enough money to finish the expanded orphanage in Benin City, Nigeria, as well as enough money to sustain the needs of the children for at least one year as they come to live at Cornerstone of Hope. To also raise money to help offset the costs to families involved in the Action Africa hosting program.

Event Information: The gala will be held in the church’s gymnasium and the adjoining room, with seating for 220+. All effort will be made to make the evening fun, unique, productive, and to raise awareness of the tremendous need of the orphaned children of Nigeria. We will have live entertainment complete with African music & dancing to entertain our guests throughout the evening. African delicacies will be served, and a silent and live auction will be held, with some items coming direct from Nigeria & Ghana. In addition, information and pictures will be used to raise both awareness and funds to promote our cause. Corporations and individuals are invited to sponsor a table of eight for $1000, with individual tickets priced at $125.

Jake and I have been placed on the committee to procure the auction items (other than the ones coming direct from Africa)….for example, one item might be two tickets to an ISU bball game, and dinner for two. I’ve never been to a benefit auction, but I’ve come to understand that the idea is that the bids are to be generous, over the amount of what the actual item is worth, hence how money is raised for the cause. I am already learning a lot about event planning, and it has been fun to envision the night and what it will be like! Jake is also getting a great idea of how to go about raising money for a cause. He has said that helping to plan this event will be a great way to get his feet wet in the fundraising world….experience that will be invaluable as he chips away at raising the $250,000 for the Right to Dream Academy.

Lastly, I wanted to include some information in case you or someone you know would like to help, but don’t picture yourself attending the benefit gala. Cornertsone of Hope is a registered 501(c) 3 U.S. Charitable Organization. Because Cornerstone of Hope, Inc. is a non-profit organization, it is driven through the love and generosity of the international community. As an individual, corporate representative, or family, there are many ways to get involved and help the Hope Orphans.

The goal amount of the event is $50,000 which would complete the entire construction of the orphanage. You can also donate to sponsor a child in the orphanage. A donation of $720 would sponsor one child in the orphanage for 1 year (food, clothing, education). A donation of $360 would sponsor one child in the orphanage for 6 months. A donation of $50 would sponsor one child in the orphanage for 1 month. Of course anything and any amount helps! If you would like to make a monetary donation, or if you or the company you work for are interested in donating an auction item for the gala, please email me at and I will send you the details. You can also find donation information (or donate online) at the Cornerstone of Hope website at:

The success of the orphanage is built upon channeling individual efforts through financial contributions, volunteerism, and public and political advocacy. Every hour and dollar counts towards changing the Hope Orphans' futures.

1 comment:

Jon and Jennifer said...

That sounds like an amazing cause. I have helped the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV)Auction the last 2 years. It is hard going from place to place to solicit donations for the live and silent auctions but it is fun and you see all your hard work paying off when the event is over and you see how much money was raised. Good luck and if you need any ideas about what worked for us or didn't, we organized the whole auction from creating the solicitation form, packaging baskets, and running the auction at the Gala so just let me know!!