What makes a great benefit?

Chef Juke and his amazing bar-b-que made Tariro's Eugene benefit a huge success! (shown here with his backyard Kamado smokers)

On Saturday, September 11th, Tariro held an awesome benefit event in Eugene, Oregon, raising $5,753 to support our work to educate and empower Zimbabwean girls!  In today’s post, I’m going to share some photos of the event with you, and share some of the details of what made this event such a successful benefit.  I hope these details will be useful to anyone who is thinking about hosting their own benefit event, whether on Tariro’s behalf, or for another organization or cause.

Once again, our story starts with the way personal connections to Zimbabwe have inspired individuals in our community to take small, but meaningful steps toward social justice and change.

Lola Broomberg: The Zimbabwe connection

Tariro loves Lola!

Lola Broomberg, who organized Tariro’s benefit event, grew up in Zimbabwe’s second largest city of Bulawayo.  Four years ago, she innovated a benefit event called “Umgami Wami,” or “My friend,” designed to support orphaned Zimbabwean children.  For the first three years after its inception, Lola’s father, who works as a psychologist in Bulawayo, administered the proceeds from her annual event.  After serving as a Tariro board member for a year, however, Lola was inspired to partner with Tariro in order to put on this wonderful event on our behalf.

We love Lola’s approach to “Umgami Wami,” which features performances from participants from the Lola’s creative youth arts camp “imagine That!”  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m a huge supporter of youth supporting other youth.  As Lola observes, this kind of partnership gives children and teens in the US

“an opportunity to be globally conscious, socially active and deeply grateful for their lives here”

Hats off to Lola for her hard work to support and empower youth on both sides of the Atlantic!  And thanks so much to the youth from imagine That! who volunteered their time at our event.  We also thank Kudana Marimba for their uplifting performance.

Food, food, food!

So much Sweet Life...

As we’ve learned in Zimbabwe, offering culinary treats is a great way to encourage participation in special events… and this particular incentive seems especially universal across culture, time, and place!  Our benefit in Eugene featured amazing sandwiches with pork smoked by bar-b-que master Chef Juke, whose nickname comes from his participation at Burning Man.  Chef Juke is locally renowned for his skills as a chef, as featured in an article in the Eugene Register Guard.

In addition, we can’t give enough thanks to Eugene’s beloved Sweet Life Patisserie, which donated two delicious, huge, and beautifully decorated cakes for this year’s benefit.  The cakes were so huge that my stepmom decided to hold off on making my birthday cake, sure that we would have leftovers… instead, both cakes were totally gone by the time I went to get a piece, prompting a personal emergency Sweet Life run after the benefit was over!  We love you Sweet Life!  Thank you so much for your amazing donation.

And finally…

Sofia rocks!

Last but not least, Tariro’s benefit couldn’t have happened without an amazing, dedicated, and tireless committee of volunteers.  These include Chef Juke’s daughter, Sofia, a senior at South Eugene High School, who coordinated many aspects of this year’s benefit.  Maggie Donahue was also an instrumental member of our committee, as were the members of Tariro’s board of directors, also based in Eugene.  Thanks so much to everyone who helped make this event happen!

A great, sunny end-of-summer day for Tariro's benefit

This year’s Eugene benefit was by far the most successful we’ve had.  Everything, from the weather to our volunteers, cooperated so beautifully.  Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen!

Coming up next…

Tariro is truly grateful for the support in the United States, and around the world, that enables us to continue educating and empowering Zimbabwean girls.  In my next post, I’ll be giving you another update from our work on the ground as our students in Zimbabwe settle into their third term of school.  Check back soon to learn more!

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One response to “What makes a great benefit?

  1. Hilary Vander Veer

    Great benefit, everyone, glad the weather was so good, and lots of good ideas for future benefits…thanks to all involved, i was glad to be a part of it….

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