I will like to express my sincere gratitude to you all for your support during The Enitan Story’s 1st Annual Taste for Hope fundraiser. It was a successful event. I couldn’t ask for more. You gave your support in every way possible, spiritually, financially, morally, emotionally, and materially. I am most thankful for your hearts towards a great cause. Indeed, you stand against human trafficking. I am mostly indebted to Pastors Bill Eaves, Cullen Tanner, and members of the United Methodist Church of Anoka – offering the space for free and allowing us to cook in the kitchen under the supervision of Kim Harris, the health licensed personnel for commercial kitchen. And, I can’t thank Kim enough for sacrificing her time to be of help.
The food was excellent. I am thankful to all the vendors that graced the occasion. In addition, volunteers sacrificed their time with family members to cook for The Enitan Story. We had people preparing and cooking food two days ahead of the time. My friend from Nigeria, owner of Dunas Party Planner, Ibukun Onasanya spent two days baking a custom cake for the event. Her cake business colleague here in Minnesota, LeeAnn was a great help in time of need. She was also available to support with tools and ingredients for the cake. Joined by Trisha Perez, Comfort Akpeari, and Andrea, Angela Okafor, one of our board members, was also there to cook for two days despite the fact that she had an eighteen month-old baby. In fact, Ibukun’s nephew, Samuel Durojaiye, who came from Chicago was our emergency babysitter. And, thanks to my sister, Anu Ogunmola of House of Fancy, for designing a lovely dress for me to match my son’s outfit.
The music was superb with Pastor Lyndy Zabel and his World Beat Connection’s music band. The live music provided the much needed joy in the atmosphere. And, our MC, Dr. Sherry Jordon of St. Thomas University was just perfect for the job. We were lucky to have another professor from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Abimbola Asojo, who is also our board member, volunteer as the photographer of the day.
Annette Brandner was another board member who was a hard worker. She was selling tickets, writing articles, connecting us with local resources, decorating, and running multiple errands until the end. She even stayed behind to clean. You will not believe that she is seventy years plus old. She even had her husband helping. Emily Wise, another board member suggested the idea of food tasting. She helped us secure the date and was available to help during the event. Our summer intern, Nora Kane, whom I really miss because she is now in Jordan for Study Abroad was both helpful behind the video camera and in the kitchen.
Alexandra House Staff were very supportive. I am grateful that they were there to offer expert advice and give directions during the preparation and at the event. In fact, Heidi Kopischke, one of our presenters was one of the advocates who were there when I was a client at Alexandra house few years ago. Marie was another advocate who came with her daughter to help buy and prepare a nice fruit bouquet. Thanks to Abigail Whelan who came to represent Representative Jim Abeler and Detective Tessa Villegas who represented the Anoka County Sheriff’s office and for sharing your thoughts.
I am very grateful to all the volunteers that came to help. Joanne, one of my friends from Anoka Ramsey was there slaving away in the kitchen cleaning. Beyond that, she coordinated other students to come and help. The vendors were exceptional – Damola’s Kitchen, Jamaican Cuisine, PizzaMan Anoka, Panda Garden, Angelic Angel Delicacies, Taste of Kenya, and Fruits by Marie. The sponsors are worth thanking with their support of various items – Anoka Hennepin Credit Union, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, Coon Rapids, Klein Bank, Coon Rapids, Sterling Trophy, Anoka Sports Shack, Bukola Braiding, Lowes, Coon Rapids, Cub Foods, Anoka, Target, Coon Rapids & Northtown, Walmart, Anoka and Sams Club, Fridley.
The community support was unbelievable. Anoka city advertised the event on the electronic board. ABC Newspapers and CTN Studio promoted the event in their print and electronic media. The guests were great. We received support before, during, and after the event. In fact, after the event, we still received donation towards the fundraiser. I want to really thank you all whether you were able to make it or not, your impact was felt. Thank you very much. In case I have not mentioned your name here, please pardon me for omission. I am very grateful. We raised a total amount of $3,129.19 after expenses.
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