More than 130 people attended Gala for Agano recently, celebrating the Newport Beach charity’s successful first year.
The cocktail event held at the Shady Canyon Golf Club featured sunset cocktails, dinner and a live and silent auction. It raised $92,000 for Agano for Kenya, which helps young women in that country complete college educations.
Among the items auctioned off were the table centerpieces, which were hand carved African statues. They were carved by a Kenyan man that Agano with Kenya Founder and Executive Director Jene Meece met in Nairobi.
Everybody had a lot of fun, Meece said, and were very generous for the charity.
“We raised enough to support our current Year One girls into Year Two, and we are well on our way to the funds for our next group of Year One students,” Meece said.
Agano with Kenya helped 10 young women, who had no hope of continuing their education, go on to attend top universities in Kenya, Meece said.
“Agano with Kenya commits to a ten year agreement with orphaned college aged girls where educational funding and career guidance is reciprocated with community service and ‘paying it forward’ to the next generation who enter the program,” according to the organization’s mission statement.
Also in attendance at the gala was Father Henry Simaro, founder of the African Child Foundation, which supports the girls – and other Kenyan orphans or vulnerable children – up through high school age.
The ACF is jointly based out of Kenya, Africa, and Newport Beach. The organization supports Simaro in his efforts to transform the lives of Kenyan orphans and vulnerable children through education, clean water, shelter, nutrition and medicine.
Agano with Kenya is supported by March to the Top Foundation out of LA, which also supports New Hope Orphanage in northern Kenya. Two of the girls, both nursing students, in the Agano with Kenya program are planning on volunteering at New Hope medical facility for two weeks over Christmas.
“It’s another way our girls are giving back,” Meece said.
Photos by Carla Rhea/The Foto Agency