The 2023 Ouelessebougou Gala and Auction

We work all year with the Ouelessebougou Alliance to prepare for what happened today–our annual gala and auction, where we hope to raise enough money to keep our programs and projects moving forward for the rest of the year.

We were up early this morning with our car filled with goods to drive to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper where the auction was held this evening.  John is the Chairman of the Board, a job he often lands in, and I’m a board member.  We and others showed up to help set up donated goods and services for tonight’s silent auction.  All of these gifts and items have been gathered for months from kind and generous people in our communities.

We had a fine display of African art and carvings from Mali, always favorites.

Artist, Greg Olsen donated this beautiful piece of art:

Pascal’s carvings were a highlight.

Food and restaurant gift cards filled one table.

Children’s toys, books and experiences filled another table.  We also had home and yard, health and fitness, outdoor equipment, and more.  For $25 you could buy an opportunity flower that was attached to a gift valued more than $25.  About 85 of these flowers were sold.

By 6:00 everything was ready and friends of the Alliance started to arrive.  This year we had more than 300 participating!  The silent auction went on throughout the evening as dinner was served in the grand ballroom next to the shark tank.

We had a program after the silent auction ended.  John and I welcomed our guests and introduced the MC who led us into the program that featured Veronica,  a scrub tech who told about her experiences working with the eye expeditions and an OBGYN Doctor Ty, who has accompanied our medical expeditions the last 2 years.  As the dinner hour ended, we started the live auction and opportunities for people to donate/bid on specific programs like women’s health or education and other crucial programs in the villages.

It was a Wonderful evening filled with energy and generosity.  As the numbers came in late in the evening, we found we met every goal we’d set.  It’s going to be a fantastic year ahead!

Several of our family members showed up to support our work.

At the very end of the evening, it was hard to believe this tent, once full of excitement, hope and colorful silent auction items, was now empty.  I always like to look at the aftermath, knowing good things happened here.  Thanks to any of you who participated!

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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