One of our very generous donors has offered to match every dollar we raise between now and Christmas day! Any funds raised will help meet the costs of the much needed dormitory project at Graceland International School in Gusau, Zamfara State.
On February 22, AEP board member Elaine Chagnon made the trip to Akron, Ohio to meet with board members Angela Dimezza and Paul Frank. At dinner on Friday night, lively discussion took place outlining plans to move ahead with the school renovations in the Kafanchan region of Nigeria. They were joined by Paul’s daughter, Rev. Elizabeth Frank and Angela’s husband Peter.
By Peter Dewberry
On Friday, November 9, two Africa Education Partnership board members, Elaine Chagnon and Peter Dewberry, travelled from Connecticut to St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church in the Bronx, New York City. Ms. Chagnon dove her SUV, which was loaded down with books and educational materials destined for our schools in Nigeria. This was the second consignment of books we have sent.
On Wednesday August 1, St. Paul’s Church in Huntington, Connecticut will host a fundraiser for AEP. The event will will take place on the Huntington Green in Shelton and feature a concert by the band the Highland Rovers, the band plays Irish music with a kick.
Shipping materials to Nigeria has always been problematic, with no direct route other than shipping through DHL at exorbitant cost. Enter the Rev. Ben Nnaji, Priest-in-Charge of St. Edmund’s Church in the Bronx, New York. He had befriended Bishop John several years ago; Elaine Chagnon was asked by Bishop John to contact him. Rev. Nnaji had a contact who ships regularly to Lagos, Nigeria. Through the generosity of the Women’s Guild at St. Edmunds’s, the cost of shipping one barrel was covered. AEP covered the cost of a second barrel. On September 22, Elaine and son Nate headed to the Bronx to load the barrels with books. At this point, the books are enroute and should arrive before Christmas. One of our Nigerian team members will make the trip to Lagos to bring the books north to Gusau.
Carly Hajducky, a middle school student from St. Paul’s Church, Huntington, had an idea to help AEP. After hearing that a need existed for a library, the energetic young woman decided to collect books. She submitted her proposal to the Rev. Amjad Samuel, an AEP Board member for approval...and also to the Girl Scout Council for her Silver Star Award.
After receiving the go-ahead from both organizations, the drive was on! Carly worked tirelessly to collect 525 volumes. She catalogued each volume, placing a dedica- tion label in each one. In addition, she had bookmarks, several book bins, and a binder with the catalogued list to add to her donation.
On September 17, Elaine Chagnon was invited to St. Paul’s to address the congregation with Carly. At the conclusion of the service, the church picnic provided Elaine with the opportunity to become better acquainted with Carly and her parents. The books were presented and loaded!
It was a heartwarming experience to chat with the Hajducky family and appreciate their generosity and compassion. AEP is grateful for the effort and special care Carly took to make the drive such a success. The books will provide the library space with a great starting collection. On behalf of the students at GIS, AEP expresses its sincere thanks!
Benefit Dinner a Success!
On Saturday, February 23, the AEP Board hosted its second benefit dinner in support of Graceland International School in Gusau, Nigeria. Originally planned for April 2012, the dinner was rescheduled when our speaker, Bishop John Danbinta of Gusau, was unable to obtain a travel visa until August 2012.
As soon as we got word that Bishop John had the visa, we started planning his visit in partnership with St. Paul’s Church of Akron, Ohio. Between Bishop John’s commitments in Nigeria and the many people in the United States who wanted to hear about Africa Education Partnership and Graceland international School, we decided the best time for his visit was late February/early March. In addition to the AEP benefit dinner at St. Peter’s, his itinerary included:
• Visiting with friends he met while studying at Hartford Seminary and people who have traveled to Gusau
• Speaking at various venues in Connecticut - St. Peter’s Church, First Cathedral in Bloomfield, and Trinity Church in Tariffville
• Traveling to Akron to speak at St. Paul’s, meet with church
April 28 Fundraising Banquet.
On April 28, we will hold a banquet to raise additional funding in order to continue this work. Please join us and learn more about this unique opportunity. Finally, we are looking forward to Bishop John’s presence at the banquet. He will only be able to join us if the U.S. Embassy approves his visa application. Even if Bishop can’t be with us in person, the dinner will be a great opportunity to celebrate the progress made on Grace International School to date, and to encourage your future support. Mark your calendars!
Mother’s Day Dinner Dance
On Saturday evening, May 7, 2011, AEP sponsored a Mother’s Day Dinner Dance fundraiser for Graceland Iternational School at TasteBuds in East Hartford. Attendees were treated to an array of appetizers while AEP board members greeted guests. A buffet-style dinner was enjoyed by all.
AEP President Don Ghostlaw addressed the diners and shared information regarding the progress of the Gusau school project.
For the remainder of the evening, music was provided for dancing enjoyment. Jon Grenier and his band donated their time and have asked to make this an annual event. AEP members discussed holding the event closer to Valentine’s Day. This was a great first time event that promises to be even better next year!
Sincere thanks go to board member Amy Crenshaw for her hours of organizing and planning this fundraising event – awesome job!