Our Summer Fundraiser was as much fun to attend as it was to plan and execute! Our fundraising planning committee included many of ACFA’s board members and volunteers, chipping in and helping in any role needed. Truth be told, the planning part was the most fun of it all: imagine our team sitting together in a meeting with everybody pitching ideas to raise the target $50k we needed to expand our facilities to accommodate 25 children! The brainstorming sessions and various fundraising ideas that came out of them were just an example of how devoted our team is towards our Malian protégés. The fundraiser took months to plan, but we spared no efforts. The team relentlessly worked behind the scenes to make sure we sent enough invitations, called as many friends and family members as we could, reached out to other organizations for support, called in favors, etc.. All that to ensure that we have a successful fundraiser!.
ACFA is fortunate enough to have many supporters and champions for our cause. Café Citron in DuPont Circle graciously provided the venue for our fundraiser once again this year. Weeks before the event, Café Citron went to bat for ACFA and promoted the event regularly via social media in order to bring in as many patrons as they could to support us.
When the day finally came (Friday, July 21st 2017), all ACFCA team members converged to Café Citron hours before the official start time and started setting up for the big event! The mood was euphorically hopeful. While some of us frenetically set up the room to showcase African arts, draperies, jewelries and miscellaneous wares, others were busy connecting electronics for the live Skype call with our founder Kadidiatou Sidibe (who could not attend in person due to her overseas deployment). Others were frantically testing devices for the convenient use of PayPal and Square during the event.
By the time many of the guests arrived we had everything under control and could devote all our attention into mingling and entertaining them. Albeit over Skype, our founder jumpstarted the event by warmly greeting the guests, thanking them for their continued support, and renewed her commitment to making ACFA a household name in Mali along with their generous help and that of the many ACFA champions who could not attend the event.
Immediately after our founder’s keynote address we all took to the floor and it was the beginning of a night of fun and dance! AFCA members definitely know how to “party” and have fun! They tirelessly entertained the guests with captivating conversations and sophisticated dance steps! Thrown into the mix was the Café Citron salsa dance instructor who took the party to a much livelier level by keeping all ACFA guests and members on their feet all night. When our feet were thoroughly taxed we took a break to cheer on the winner of our raffle followed by more dancing.
In the end we did not reach the $50k target we expected to help us tackle our projects, however, it’s a work in progress and we are hopeful that all the ACFA champions out there will reach out and help us raise as much funds as needed to continue to give hope to our Malian protégés.