The Gala got of to an auspicious start with a cocktail reception and contemporary art auction featuring notables like Ashley Bush, Oluchi and Luca Orlandi, Claudia Chan, Stephen Byrd and Heidi Albertson. The evening continued with dinner and program hosted by the spirited and committed entertainment journalist Quddus who started a special auction to build wells by donating $10,000.
Honoree Lisa Lovatt-Smith, founder of OrphanAid Africa, who transformed her life from Vogue editor, author and style expert to tireless advocate tackling the Ghanaian orphan crisis, echoed the theme of the evening stating “Give them water and give them love and we will be just fine” in a heartfelt and moving speech.
This year’s Gala serves as the jumpstart to FACE Africa's County by County initiative to fund clean water and women empowerment programs in every Liberian county beginning with Rivercess, one of Liberia’s most urgently underdeveloped counties. March 22 was World Water Day and the perfect time to reflect FACE Africa’s success, build on the promise of Thirsty for a Change and uphold the organization’
The night would not have been possible without generous sponsors like Chevron, Kenneth Jay Lane, Proctor and Gamble, Voss Water, Uber, and Eaton Vance Investment Managers.
The enchanted evening concluded with a post-Gala after party featuring DJ Jamie Biden at New York Meatpacking District hotspot SL.
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