Annie T. Doe Memorial Foundation
"Raising Our Children" 6th Annual Benefit Gala
We would like to express our appreciation to the 300+ individuals, organizations, churches, and volunteers who contributed to the tremendous success of this year’s 6th Annual Benefit Gala. To those who supported financially but could not be present, we hope to see you next year. The sold out event took place at the Embassy Suites in Concord, NC on Saturday September 30th. This extraordinary fundraising effort, filled with your generosity and commitment, helped raised $55,000. 100% of funds raised will go towards supporting our core programs: Free Primary Christian Education for 220 children; Free Women Empowerment initiatives (Girls Computer Literacy and Women Sewing Training Programs) and Basic Healthcare Services in Liberia, West Africa. Funds will also be used to expand our Community Scholarship Awards to graduating high school seniors in the Charlotte community.
Arriving guests were warmly received by the smooth sounds of a Saxophone performance from Mr, D. Alex Thomas, while our red carpet host Jania Massey kicked off the evening with interviewing guests during the silent auction, red carpet and cocktail hour.
Master of Ceremony, Joseph Butler, warmly welcomed our guests to their seats, followed by an opening prayer offered by Bishop Wake Ferguson, III. of the 8th Street Church of God, Charlotte, NC. A three course meal promptly followed as the solo sound of the saxophone flow through the elegant ballroom.
The” Lion King” themed performance by the Embrace Dance Academy, along with the enchanting sound of African Drummer, Ayinde - added elements of Afrocentric to the evening. Mr. D. Alex Thomas, a freshman at NC State University stole the show with his musical saxophone performance of “What a wonderful world".
Francis Sio, Director of Finance and Saya Doe-Sio, Founder and Chairman, highlighted the Foundation's key accomplishments from the past 6 years, including half a million dollars raised to support the foundation’s mission to serve those in need.
Chairman Sio also announced the Foundation's first mission trip to Liberia in March 2018 to give partners an opportunity to visit Liberia and volunteer at the Annie T. Doe Memorial Academy.
Chairman Sio concluded with a powerful story about Annie Nah, a student who was recently accepted into the academy. Annie had been out of school for two years. Abandoned by her father, Annie is cared for by her grandmother, Beatrice, who shoulders all responsibilities but does not have income. The academy has become the beacon of HOPE for little girls like Annie to pursue and achieve their dreams. "We cannot stop because of Annie and many others like her".
Board members, Johnette Karpeh and Leroy Foster, presented the Annie T. Doe Memorial Foundation 2017 Humanitarian Award to Herb & Felicia Gray, Co-Founders of The Gray Classic.
Herb & Felicia Gray are noted Philanthropists and community leaders. They are a power couple that know firsthand the power of giving back. The Gray Classic mission is to help provide an avenue for young students to achieve higher education, engage them through mentoring programs and provide networking opportunities for youth and adult participants.
The Student Sponsorship Fundraiser was hosted by Executive Board Member, Linda Reeves. She surprised the audience with a ”Best Dressed” contest. The evening was full of surprises, with a fashion show from Golden Stitches, followed by closing remarks from Board member, Kathryn Montgomery. It was truly a night to remember, ending with music and dancing.
Gratitude goes out to our community of supporters and partners who continue to stand with us to bring relief to so many people. It is with profound appreciation that you allow us to stand on your shoulders and continue to expand our mission. We do not take your support lightly. Your support helps restore hope and love in desperate and direr situations. May God richly bless you! See you September 2018.
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