Event Update (getting closer to Zimbabwe)

This entry is part 9 of 27 in the series, Zimbabwe 2007 Project

Just thought I’d give a little bit of an update as to what’s happened in the past few weeks with the Zimbabwe 2007 Project that I’m a part of.

Day at the Sugar Bush Fundraiser [04/07/2007]

The unexpected snowy weather for this time of year turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it really contributed to the success of the day. The snow certainly gave a more appropriate backdrop to the whole experience of being in the sugar-bush.

When I arrived at the Schaab’s barn I quickly attended to my pre-arranged pancake duty. It was while making my extra special “flap-jacks” (all I did was coat the pan with oil, pour the mix, and flip) that I realized how many people were attending this fundraiser event. We were kept pretty busy making the pancakes and there were times that we couldn’t keep up with the number of people arriving!

All in all the day was a fun day – and thanks to all the volunteers and the generosity of the people attending we made just over $2,000 between the sale of Maple Syrup and the tickets for the day.

Community Supper and Silent Auction [04/14/2007]

My contribution to this event was designing the posters, tickets, program/auction item list, and power-point slides for the evening of the auction. So I was able to attend with my wife and enjoy the evening without being involved in all the other preparation that went into it. I must say, the Auction & Dinner committee really worked hard and it was evident in the awesome response of the evening.

The number of items that were available was amazing and the “bidding wars” that ensued through the night were good natured and hilarious πŸ™‚ In some cases husbands and wives were bidding against each other! It was also humourous seeing people bid $10-$20 dollars over the value of a gift-certificate. This certainly demonstrated people’s willingness to support the Zimbabwe 2007 Project!

The entertainment for the evening was also really great. Steve Wall, a classical guitarist, played and boy can this guy play the guitar! The quality of his music was a real treat to listen to.

Dave Cummings sang a couple of songs for us and his contribution was much appreciated as well.

The only thing that wasn’t so great about the evening was the sound quality. The acoustics of the room we rented for this event were a real challenge for the people in charge of the sound equipment nevertheless it was obvious they made every effort to do the best they could with what they had.

Paul and Jennifer Hudson from my church were the MC’s for the evening and they both did an excellent job of keeping the evening moving forward and interesting! I also was really touched by the idea Paul had of circulating sheets for each person on the team that people could sign and write short notes on. I’m sure these “personal messages” will be much appreciated by all of us on the team when we read them while in Zimbabwe!

All-in-all the evening was a great event and we made just over $5,000 after expenses towards our goals for the project!

Team Meeting 04/16/2007

We met once again as a team to work on the planning and preparation for the trip. At this meeting we spent a lot of time talking about the actual logistics involved in getting to Zimbabwe and back. Our team leader, Barry Mutrie, has put a lot of time and preparation into researching various aspects of embarking on this project and I’m very appreciative of everything he has done.

We went over packing lists, questions we want to ask the Cooledges when they come to our church in two weeks, and we did some team-building exercises as well. We also spent time talking about the responsibility we all feel towards those who have contributed to the project. People have put their trust and faith in us by giving generously towards this cause and we want to be good stewards of the funds they’ve directed towards the project. Thought is being given towards how we can communicate with our supporters while we are in Zimbabwe and the reports we will give when we get back. For any supporters that may be reading this entry…thank you for giving generously – your gift is much appreciated!

Every team meeting we have reminds us how close we are getting to the actual date of departure and the excitement is certainly beginning to build. I go this week for my last shot before leaving and while I am looking forward to going to Harare I’m also a bit nervous as I think about just how far Zimbabwe actually is from Hanover! Not only that, but the change in culture and setting will be dramatically different from what I’m used to and it will be a challenge adjusting. Nevertheless, I’m anticipating that God is leading us and will be doing a work in those of us going that will transform each of us in some way. We’re trusting and believing that in responding to the call of God leading us to Zimbabwe that we can be a help in contributing to the work of the Village of Hope in bringing hope to the orphans and the people living in this part of the world. That is something I’m looking forward to most of all.

Still to come are two more fund-raisers. The “Walk for Hope” which is a 10km walk I’ll be participating on (we gather sponsors for each km of the walk) on April 28th – and the Flea Market/Garage Sale that will be held on May 12th. We are already nearly at our team goal of $27,000 so it’s exciting knowing that we will exceed that goal and be able to contribute much more to the Village of Hope than we originally planned!

Something I haven’t done yet is send out personal support letters to family and friends. I’m hoping to get that done this week – I’m sure there are family and friends who will willingly contribute to this cause and I’m counting on their support to help make a difference in Zimbabwe. If you are one of those people I’m referring to – thanks in advance πŸ˜‰

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