Have you recovered from Fall Fiesta yet? We’re still reeling from the generosity and fun-loving spirit you showed at this event. Let’s reminisce about the top six highlights together, shall we?
The venue, food, drink, prizes, and games were superb this year, as always. Cincinnati’s skyline glittered outside the Great American Ball Park as you laughed with friends old and new, sipped some spirits, won everything from bottles of wine to trips to Africa and the Cayman Islands, and dined sumptuously on a full dinner.
For the first time ever our silent auction featured digital bidding, which meant that you battled it out from your cell phones rather than on paper.
What’s that I spy in my text messages? I was outbid by John B? Upbid by $500! *frantic button punching*
The competition was fierce, and some of you even bid and won from the comfort of your own home!
Director of International Programs Katie Camillus made her Fall Fiesta speaking debut and brought the room to its feet as she described what our Scholarship Program students face in their fight to stay in school. She sent chills down our spines as she repeated over and over, “It’s hard to stay in school because…” and we could sympathetically feel the odds stacking up against us.
Special Guatemalan guest Lesly Patzán then told her own personal story of fighting to stay in school. How her mother never learned to read, but swore she would give her children a high school diploma. How her father continued to perform manual labor while undergoing cancer treatments to make this dream a reality. How even this was not enough. How Lesly finally won a CoEd scholarship, and was matched with a sponsor who changed her family’s life forever.
Inspired by Lesly’s story, you sponsored 17 Scholarship Program students just like her so that they can stay in school and break the cycle of poverty in their families too. Lesly was in tears because of your generosity. (Who are we kidding, we were all in tears!)
You outdid yourselves once again and raised an incredible number. More, in fact, than at any previous Fall Fiesta:
Is it a coincidence that this is about the same number of kids you have helped in Guatemala over CoEd’s 21-year history? $170,000 in honor of 170,000 students.
We (and they) couldn’t thank you enough.