So where to begin? Let us tell you about the amazing evening we enjoyed on Wednesday, April 18! Thanks to the wonderful and kind support of Mike and Dominique Bockman, owners of T-Bock’s Sports Bar and Grill here in Decorah, we had a fabulous fund and friend-raising event. Mike and Dominique allowed Empowering Learners (and our loyal colleagues) to descend on their fine establishment and take over for a night. We served food, washed dishes, helped clear tables, welcomed guests, told stories of supporting learners in Namibia, shared pictures, danced and sang, and generally made our pitch to everyone who would listen. What a night! At the end we were exhausted, but so affirmed with the love and support radiated by all who came out to dine! Thank you, Mike and Dominique, for your terrific support. All in all it ended up being a $900 night for us as we received gifts at the door and also as Mike and Dom shared a portion of the restaurant proceeds.
Thanks to Sarah, Amy, Mari, Kelsey, Katie, Elizabeth, Doug, Charlie, Hanna, Gregory, Mckenzie, and Ann (Highum this is!) for all your good will and work at T-Bock’s!
Also in the past month we have been able to secure all our needed purchases. We are pleased to tell you that our 25 used and refurbished laptops are now all in place, as are our 50 TI83 graphing calculators. The Peterson basement is in a little disarray, but we’re soon ready to start packing in anticipation of our June 16 departure. In our next blog installment we’ll tell you more about our Philanthropic and Cultural Journey, and all that we’re looking forward to as our merry band of 12 travelers carry in this next wave of educational hardware for the learners and teachers in the ELCIN. Stay tuned for the travelogue!
And finally, it absolutely deserves mentioning that our Empowering Learners Endowment Fund, invested at the ELCA, is doing really well. Of course, not all markets will be up, but so far so good! Our endowment fund had an awesome first quarter return (first and only quarter thus far!) and this makes us very happy as we work to endow the future of this project. We have miles to go to bring this fund to the $25,000 full-funding level, but compound interest is helping us get there!
Sincere thanks to good friends who continue to transform our efforts. We would be nowhere without you. Please know how very grateful we are for your kind and generous support.