Flavors of Haiti 2018

Some snapshots from an evening of fun and celebrations and comments from one guest after her first Flavors of Haiti dinner:

“We all know that education is important and is vital for a country like Haiti where most citizens struggle for the basics in life. But did you know that gathering with others to raise funds for a village school could be so much fun?

An impressive group of more than 200 members and friends of three churches came together in Clarkston to learn about and support the work of an exceptional leader, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste. This extraordinary man responded to the needs of children, including many refugees escaping the horrors of the earthquake, by coordinating the efforts of local Haitians and those far away in the U.S.

As they say, success breeds success. The evening was part celebration of the classrooms that have been built and the improved lives of many children, and of the partnerships which have made this EcoVillage School possible. It was also an opportunity to highlight the needs of the children for further education and to support the teachers dedicated to helping them with the most basic of resources (chalk, paper, pencils). The fundraising portion of the evening was a quick and lively “auction,” with a rewarding end. A quick tally indicated that nearly $30,000 was raised for another year of school for children who are obviously eager to learn.

As a new attendee to the Flavors of Haiti event, I encourage everyone to attend in 2019 and experience a warm evening of collective enthusiasm for strong partnerships, good food served by conscientious youth, the satisfaction of donating to a cause that has been vetted and endorsed, and the very grateful appreciation of those involved with the EcoVillage School.”

Flavors of Haiti 2017

Thank You for Your Support!

A heart-felt THANK YOU to all those who volunteered for and attended Flavors of Haiti:  A Fundraiser for the School in the EcoVillages on May 7 at Clarkston Community Center.   An inter-generational capacity crowd of over 230 people gathered in historic Angora Hall to enjoy the performance of Maximitou: Haitian dancers and drummer; to listen and learn from recent visitors to the school; to pay tribute to Kent and Bob Leslie for a lifetime of peacemaking and global mission; and to raise funds for the fourth year of the school.   The beautiful images of the children and the school, photographed by David Diener and Michael Thurmond during the April trip, along with the transcendent testimonial by Kristy Gordon, transported us to Haiti and helped us to imagine the students’ future, with our help.  Thanks to the generosity of over 120 donors, we exceeded our financial goal for the evening and will meet our commitment to the school for 2017 ahead of schedule. Praise God! 

A huge reason for the evening’s success was the hospitality and support of 30 hosts, who covered the costs of the event and invited friends and family to be guests at their table, which broadened our base of support.  THANK YOU to our hosts

Another key reason was the quality and depth of commitment from many volunteers:

Our leadershipGordon French and Chris Calia, our Co-Chairs, and Carolyn French and Jeanine Calia, their co-conspirators and visionaries and executioners of countless tasks and details.  Together and individually, each of them modeled the best of collaborative leadership.  They kept us focused on the goal of creating the connections between Haiti and Atlanta through powerful storytelling and fostered an amazing sense of camaraderie and hospitality among all who worked with them.  Special recognition to:   Jeanine - organizer of the display of the art project; and Carolyn - web-master of www.haitiecovillageschool.org , and writer/editor of the new children’s book My School is in the EcoVillages.

Cindy Ferre – designer of the vibrant look and feel of the evening, with the precious centerpieces featuring the faces of the students; Lynn Harris – graphic designer of our logo and publicity;  Kathryn Hornsby –registrar extraordinaire, tasked with the herculean job of creating an accurate guest list; Tim Merritt – live auctioneer for Fund a Need and audio-visual task master; Ellen Gadberry  - facilitator of art sessions with Atlanta children; Nathalie Bigord - liaison to the caterer and dancers; Youth Servers from Good Shepherd and N Decatur Presbyterian, and Dee Raeside – organizer of youth servers; Loida Guillen – organizer of sales table and packager of moringa.   Planning Committee members:  Deedee Murphy, Linda Curry, Sophia Auguste.  Thanks also to Day of Volunteers:   AJ Lindberg, Ginger Stapley, Martha Shepherd, Lee Nichols, Haywood Curry and David Evans. 

Many thanks to Altagrace Romain, who catered the event for us. 

With gratitude for abundant blessings,

submitted by Becky Evans, Fundraising Chair