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September 15, 2011 - Harvest of Hope Celebrates 10 Years of Success Stories in Africa

What: 10th anniversary dinner-fundraiser with music, African dance, live and silent auctions, and Caroline Thuo-Reggy speaking about

Where: Temple Emanuel

When: Thursday, September 15, 2011

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $100; $50 students; sponsors: $250 and up

Beneficiary: Harvest of Hope, supporting Church World Service (CWS) and It Takes a Village

EMCEE: Bazi Kanani, 9News anchor

Founders: MaryAnn McGeady, Pauline Miles and Kathryn Ewers Roy

Committee Members: Taj Ashaheed, Executive Director, Colorado Muslim Council; Rabbi Joe Black, Temple Emanuel; Brother Jeff Fard, Brother Jeff’s Community Health Initiative; "Bee" Harris, Publisher, Denver Urban Spectrum; Lynn Hough, Program Manager, Denver Office for HIV Resources; Rabbi Steven Foster, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Emanuel; Dr. Pius Kamau, Surgeon, Writera nd African Activist; Father Martin Lally, Senior Pastor, Queen of Peace Catholic Church; Carlotta LaNier, Realtor, author, speaker and one of the Little Rock Nine; Rev. Youngsook C. Kang, District Supt., United Methodist Church; Rev. Dr. Donald Messer, Author, President Emeritus, Iliff School of Theology; Dr. Dean Prina, Pediatrician, Partners in Pediatrics; Stephanie Riggs, Radio Host: Divine Calling AM670; Cleo Parker Robinson, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble

Catering: Tour of Africa buffet: Occasions by Sandy; coffee service by Global CafeNation

Entertainment: Cleo Parker Robinson dancers

Music: Frederick Douglass Community Drum Circle

Sponsors: Sponsors include: MDC Holdings/Richmond Homes, McGeady Sisneros PC, Kutak Rock LLP, D.A. Davidson & Co., Creative Touch Video Services, Denver Urban Spectrum, The Creative Spirit, Keesen Enterprises

Auctioneer: Debbie Stafford, former Colorado State House Representative

Menu: Tour of Africa buffet: harissa-braised chicken, West African spiced tilapia, vegetarian lentil stew, banana-leaf roasted plantains, ginger-scented North African meatballs, chips and African-inspired dips...Desserts: mbatata cookies, nthochi bread and kashata

Attendance: 270

Attire: African best/business casual

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Peanut soup sip, grilled sugarcane shrimp, chickpea-and-sweet potato fritter


Event Coordinator: Kathryn Ewers Roy

Planning Committee: Brittany Baxter, Cara Beasley, Peter Boddie, Voradel Carey, Erin Crawford, Misha Darcy, Laurel Davis-Mayo, Carlyla Dawson, Julia Dybdahl, Marj Dyer, Peter Ewers, Barbara Ford, Rachel Graci, Michael Hubbard, Imani S. Latif, Mary W. Lewis, Hal Lynde, MaryAnn McGeady, Pauline Miles, Allie Moore, Violet Peabody, Kathryn Ewers Roy, Doug Smith, Kelly Sushinski, Kathy Sweitzer, Art Ziemann

Blacktie Photos by: Lisa Perry

 Harvest of Hope's three co-founders are honored (l to r): Kathryn Ewers Roy, MaryAnn McGeady and Pauline Miles
Harvest of Hope's three co-founders are honored (l to r): Kathryn Ewers Roy, MaryAnn McGeady and Pauline Miles

The stories can break your heart, but the triumphs will lift your soul. While Africa’s people and her culture offer beauty, challenges remain, and Harvest of Hope representatives know the work continues. The Denver nonprofit celebrated 10 years of empowerment endeavors on the continent as well as locally on Thursday, September 15, at Temple Emanuel with a dinner fundraiser attended by nearly 300 supporters. Pounding rhythms and joyous dancers set the stage for a taste of the continent, quite literally with a delicious buffet, complemented by a riveting talk of struggles and successes in East Africa by “Giving Hope” program coordinator Caroline Thuo-Reggy.

The evening began with a comprehensive silent auction and an African Marketplace that featured handmade goods from around the continent. The Frederick Douglass Community Drum Circle entertained as guests bought and bid on enticing items, then embarked on a “Tour of Africa” buffet. A group of HoH African ambassadors now residing in Denver circulated throughout the evening, talking about their native countries from a personal perspective. Even as Harvest of Hope committee member Cleo Parker Robinson performed with her troupe in New Zealand, three of her talented dancers from the "Trainin’ Group" were on hand for the fundraiser—bursting into the room with a traditional, exuberant welcoming dance to begin the evening’s program. Bazi Kanani, 9News anchor and reporter, was back for her fourth consecutive year as emcee.

Harvest of Hope’s co-founder Kathryn Ewers Roy welcomed guests and discussed the organization's partnership with Church World Service (CWS) and It Takes a Village (ITAV). Ron Blaum of CWS talked about the group’s philosophy to show youngsters that help not only comes from others, but comes from within. He called Harvest of Hope co-founders Roy, MaryAnn McGeady and Pauline Miles on stage to present them with plaques commemorating the nonprofit’s 10 years of service. Imani Latif, executive director of It Takes A Village, discussed the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa and noted the organization’s new programs, “Home Away from Home” and “Empowering Girls” for African-American women in metro Denver.

Caroline Thuo-Reggy, of CWS, spoke about the ravages of HIV/AIDS resulting in African orphans forced into a primary-caregiver role, in charge of siblings as well as grandparents. A video presentation depicted vingettes of youngsters using an initial small monetary gift to go on to become self-sufficient in supporting a family. Guests could further put a personal face on their stories with individual “dream cards” at each place setting detailing the specific hope of a young caregiver in Africa. The evening ended with a live auction conducted by former State House Rep. Debbie Stafford, and guests also had the opportunity to donate funds for items targeted for African young people, from $35 for a kitchen vegetable-garden startup kit to $5,000 for entrepreneurial training for 500 youth caregivers.

Harvest of Hope helps coordinate self-empowering programs in Africa, as well as locally, partnering with Church World Service (CWS) and It Takes A Village (ITAV). Shared core values include: addressing the needs of the most vulnerable African neighbors through education and fundraising, respecting all faiths and cultures, and seeking diversity and building respect in all phases of Harvest of Hope endeavors. Overall, the organization seeks to celebrate Africa while supporting the work of CWS in Africa and ITAV in Colorado. For more information, visit:, and




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