Our third annual Gala had a fun-filled atmosphere focusing on our charity HOPE International Development Agency and raising funds for a clean-water project in Koshale, Bonke District, Ethiopia. Attendees enjoyed traditional Ethiopian dancing, a silent auction and our own 'walk for water. Guest speaker Ray Zahab entertained guests with inspiring stories of his running adventures around the world.
Our second annual Gala, was again held at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre (AESC) on May 26. In 2011, we featured a full buffet dinner and an art auction. Several local artists painted ‘water-themed’ pictures which were displayed around the arena and awarded to the highest bidder. Guest speaker, Charles Fishman, spoke on his book, The Big Thirst, examining how water, as a resource, will come to define this century. The Van Django Jazz Ensemble added a classy atmosphere to the evening. Money from this fundraiser went to the Dembile Ottora villiage in the Bonke District of Ethiopia.
Our first Gala was also held at AESC on May 27, 2010. Over 350 people attended to hear our keynote speaker, Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, past UN Leader and author of Shake Hands With the Devil– The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. We also featured Ultra-Marathoner Ray Zahab, who ran across the Sahara Desert and experienced the desperate lack of water for the people who call it home. The evening started with a red carpet entrance, wine and appetizers, and special music by Calvin Dyck and Shane Wiebe. This fundraising evening supported clean-water projects in Derashe, Ethiopia.