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I want to sincerely thank the generous people who made the Guatemala Gala a magical night.
We heard the reality of the life of our brothers and sisters. Pastor Karen shared stories of girls with no option other than early marriage, of 14 and 15-year-olds having difficulty in childbirth, of the opportunities that a vocational school could offer these young women.
She also shared the good news that several communities have already benefited from the water project and have received the large outdoor water tanks. To have water handy, right outside one's house, instead of having to walk down to the river to collect and carry water - what a gift!
As the bidding for these two great projects began, I didn't know what to expect. The paddles for bids popped up, a few for gifts of $1,000, and then so many for gifts of $500, $250, and $100. Pastor Karen and I wept. The dreams of the ILAG were becoming a reality.
Here's a look at the Guatemala Gala by the numbers...
$25,000 raised by the live auction & Fund-a-Need for the Clean Water Project and Land Purchase for a Girls' School (figures forthcoming for silent auction & ticket sales)
300 families who will have easier access to clean water by the end of the project
185 Gala guests who shared in fellowship and loving support for the ILAG
120 gifts given for the silent auction
73 bidders who raised their paddles during the Fund-A-Need, adding up to $19,300
60 girls who will attend the Girl's School to learn vocational skills
1 terrific meal of Guatemalan recipes provided by Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard and carried out by Chef Steve of Southview Country Club
$0 charged by Southview Country Club for the use of their space because they are so committed to being a good neighbor
Endless amounts of gratitude from everyone at the ILAG and the Guatemala Task Force
We still have much to do in order to fully fund these projects. Anyone wishing to give an offering is welcome to send it to the synod office (105 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103), with a designation for the ILAG water project and/or ILAG land purchase for girls' school.
Thank you, good people.
Chair, Guatemala Task Force