A full house of 260 guests enjoyed global food and entertainment at the fifth annual Around the World fundraising gala Oct. 25 at the DelRay Ballroom, raising more than $30,000 for the nonprofit GIRLPowR.
“The funds will support GIRLPowR’s after-school clubs and summer camps locally, and two new Lincoln programs starting in January,” said Executive Director Julie Reager, who initially founded the nonprofit organization in 2013 to support girls’ education and empowerment in Kumaica, Nicaragua.
A portion of the funds will continue to support GIRLPowR’s work in rural Nicaragua to purchase school uniforms, backpacks and supplies for participants in the four existing GIRLPowR empowerment programs in the villages of Kumaica Sur and Norte, and a new girls’ empowerment program in a neighboring community.
“With such generous support, we are encouraged to continue exploring expansion of programming in additional countries such as Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria and beyond,” Reager said.
Around the World event attendees heard testimonials from GIRLPowR participants Peyton Parker and Achan Alwir. Both girls said they gained skills and confidence to stand up for themselves by attending GIRLPowR after-school programs and summer camps.
Eagle Printing & Sign received the inaugural Community Partner Award for supporting GIRLPowR with donated services.
The event began with a social hour as guests enjoyed ethnically influenced hors d’oeuvres crafted by 15 local eateries, along with their choice of the signature drink “Make My Day Mango Margarita” or a Boulevard draft beer, while bidding on silent auction items donated by local businesses and individuals. DJ Kef played background music, and Henna artists provided temporary tattoos to those who wanted them.
A presentation by Reager and a video educated guests about GIRLPowR’s programs and gave a special tribute to Keisha Holloway, former event emcee who passed away last May at age 35 due to cancer.
The Orgullo Latino group entertained guests with a Mexican folkloric dance performance, and the Impundo Troop performed traditional Rwandan dance. Gerardo Meza & The Dead of Night completed the live entertainment.
Andy Arbie served as emcee, and Ryan Anderson led the live auction.
For more details about GIRLPowR, see girlpowr.org or call 402-875-0194.