November 2, 2016 (New York). The Center of Hope (Haiti), Inc. held its 11th Annual Gala Celebration at the Tent At Bryant Park Grill. The theme of the evening was the dedication of the first classroom building of a new elementary school. The new building is the first of four buildings comprising the elementary school and will be home to the 4-6 grades. Julie Atkinson, the Executive Director, stated that the school was a collaboration of COHH and the Building Goodness Foundation of Charlottesville, VA.
Emmanuel St. Juste, the COHH Chairman of the Board and Mark Newton, the COHH President, both provided updates on the ongoing operations of COHH in Hinche, Haiti. They also thanked the COHH donors for their support with the cost of the classroom building and reminded them that the school has three more buildings yet to be constructed. Mark Newton asked the audience to become a “donor” and an “ambassador” for COHH, particularly at this critical time where fundraising is a perquisite to the successful completion of the school.
Julie Atkinson presented the COHH Hope Award to the Building Goodness Foundation for their construction management of the new classroom building. The building was completed on time and under budget. Julie also mentioned that Steve Davis, the project architect, had received a design award for his design of the classroom building. Ethan Tate, the BGF Field Director, accepted the Hope Award on behalf of BGF. He noted in his remarks that COHH has been an excellent partner on the project and represented the best in class of school and orphanages in Haiti.
Julie told the audience that the classroom building had been dedicated to Greenberg Traurig LLP, a global law firm based in New York, in recognition of the their long-standing pro bono and financial support of COHH. Brian Duffy, the Chief Executive Officer of the firm accepted a framed photograph of the classroom building and dedication plaque on behalf of the firm. Brian thanked COHH for the recognition and re-affirmed the long-term commit of the firm to COHH. Daniel Ansell, the COHH relationship partner of the firm, was praised by Julie and Brian for the tireless work of Dan and his associates on behalf of COHH.
After the presentation of the Hope Award and Dedication, Christine Fulton was asked to share her most recent experience in Haiti. Christine spoke about the children and the emotional impact they had on her personally. Julie then introduced the video entitled, “A New Day and A New School” produced by Johnny Boston and Paul Dolzall of Raw Media Network and Christine Fulton who were recognized for their volunteer work on the project. The video can be seen at right on YouTube.
James Lipscomb closed the evening with a reminder to the audience that they are needed as ambassadors for COHH to encourage friends and family to support the mission of COHH and the children. James stressed the need for donor estate planning to include COHH. Each member of the audience was given a brochure containing ways in which COHH could be included in their plans. A video recap of the Gala can be seen at right on You Tube.