Tools for Schools event was an overwhelming success

I have confirmed two things recently: a novel idea can still capture the attention of those interested in helping others, and the Central Alberta community is incredibly generous.

I have confirmed two things recently: a novel idea can still capture the attention of those interested in helping others, and the Central Alberta community is incredibly generous.

On a recent evening, Tools for Schools Africa Foundation hosted an event at Westerner Park called Shine! Our mandate is to educate girls in West Africa.

Instead of asking for donor dollars to support our cause, the resale of donated, seldom worn jewelry seemed like a good idea, but because we had never heard of it being tried anywhere before, we were not certain how the community would respond to this concept.

In fact, the response was fabulous.

Artistry in Gold accepted jewelry on our behalf and helped us value donated items.

On Sept. 27, the jewelry was sold, along with art work and other one-of-a-kind items.

The funds raised far exceeded our expectations. We will use the proceeds to apply through Community Initiatives Program for a matching grant, so in fact we can double the funds raised.

The overall funding raised will support for another year the 63 girls presently on scholarship, and will also fund a year of university for several girls.

Events such as this cannot happen without substantial volunteer hours invested, and the support of individuals, groups and local businesses. A special thanks to all those who donated items for resale at Shine!, to Phil Neufeld of True Line Construction for providing wine, to Artistry in Gold for their expertise and time commitment, to the ladies who paid the rent and to the 30 volunteers, headed by Lyn Goertzen, who worked the evening. Our apologies to those of you we had to turn away, but we were also pleased with having the event sold out.

Because Shine! was such a success, we will continue collecting jewelry at Artistry in Gold throughout the coming year for next year’s Shine! event. As well, we would like to expand the concept to include purses and silk scarves. If you are cleaning drawers and/or closets, please keep Tools for Schools Africa Foundation in mind.

Our most sincere thank you to the Central Alberta community for your support of Tools for Schools Africa Foundation.

Marilyn Pottage

Chair

Tools for Schools Africa Foundation Board, Red Deer

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