Dear loyal friends and supporters,
Your organization, The Fregenet Foundation, is so blessed to have you standing by with such commitment and loyalty. Thank you very much. We, the members of the board of directors, call it “your” organization because in a real sense TFF belongs to the people who keep it lifted up in their hearts and support it with their hard earned treasure.
Evidence of your love and good will were in full display during our last fundraiser in the city of angels on October 15. The event was a huge success. Scores of people came out to wish the organization well and support it with their donations. When all the smoke had cleared and the raffle winners had gone home with their prizes, after people had left the celebration with full bellies and hearts encouraged by inspiring stories from a little school making a big difference, our fund raiser had raised over $15,000 USD. Truly the hearts of the TFF board members are full to overflowing today.
And of course there are a lucky handful of supporters who the rest of us envy just a tiny bit, but still wish the very best. One of our raffle winners, Yohanes Asrat, was there in the room to collect his prize. He went home with a laptop after ticket number 0892 came up. Congratulations, Yohanes! The other big winner also came and took the top prize, a round trip airline ticket from Washington DC to Addis Abeba, after the person who sold him the raffle called him from the event. One of these days, lucky Fekade Tadesse will be winging his way over the Atlantic ocean to the fabled land that we are all so fond of, Ethiopia, courtesy of Ethiopian Air Lines. Bon voyage, Fekade!
The October 15 celebration of childhood and education sponsored by The Fregenet Foundation was kicked off with a joyous demonstration of cultural dancing by members of the Little Ethiopia Cultural and Resource Center, led by Nigist Legesse. Children of all ages shook their shoulders and wiggled their hips to traditional Ethiopian music up on the stage. They were followed by a breath-taking display of skill and strength thanks to a pair of Ethiopian brother acrobats.
TFF board member, Jennifer Costa, came to the microphone next and shared pictures of the good work happening at the Fregenet Kidan Lehitsanat School in Addis Ababa. Jennifer comes to this work with a depth of concern and caring from the deepest place in her heart. Her commitment and dedication to the children of FKL shone through during her presentation and it is clear that she is going to be a vital member of the Fregenet board of directors.
New board member, Chris Kurtz, was the master of ceremonies. He kept the event lively with a few choice Amharic words from his childhood days in the 1970’s as an Addis Abeba boy and engaged the audience with shared reminiscences of a city and a time that everyone seemed to remember with fondness.
After breaks in the program for audience members to mingle, sample Ethiopian cuisine, and buy items of clothing and scarves from Ethiopia, the evening culminated with words from the person that everyone ultimately had come to hear. No Fregenet event would be complete without a reminder of how this precious organization has come to exist and why it means so much to all of us. Tafesse spoke on behalf of himself and his lovely wife, Elizabeth, and moved many of us to tears. He related that while it will never completely ease the pain in his soul, when he looks in the eyes of the students of FKL, he sees the eyes of his lost daughter. Tafesse and Elizabeth’s untiring passion and unrelenting dedication to the memory of Fregenet through the organization they founded are an inspiration to a great many people.
This letter must appropriately end with the reminder that the tremendous success we celebrate today, not only of the 2011 fund raiser, but also the accomplishments of The Fregenet Foundation, is thanks to you, its supporters. Your generosity is appreciated by the members of the board, members of the Fregenet Kidan Lehitsanat community in Ethiopia, and the students of FKL.
Thanks so much for everything!
The Fregenet Foundation