Prince Edward Islanders "join the joy" as the Village Feast celebrates 10 years
It was an evening of celebration May 4, 2017 at the Charlottetown Hotel as organizers of the Village Feast launched a special fundraising initiative to celebrate 10 years.
The campaign is called "Join the Joy" and it will bring joy to the lives of many Kenyan children and their families.
The evening was hosted by Horatio Toledo, president of the Royal Commonwealth Society and included speeches from Dr. Teresa Mellish of Farmers Helping Farmers and Queen Elizabeth Scholar Anne Shileche, a Kenyan student working on her Master of Science Degree at UPEI. They talked about the impact of the cookhouses that have been built, thanks to the Village Feast and its many supporters.
The highlight of the evening were the passionate presentations from Chef Michael Smith and Alan MacPhee of the Village Feast Founders Committee.
In a moving moment, the founders presented 3 stones to Anne Shileche to be used as part of the foundation in the cookhouses.
There was also a significant announcement from the Souris Area Lobster Fishers, represented by Ronnie MacKinnon, who have raised money for a cookhouse in Kenya through their support of the Village Feast over the last five years.
The evening also included an entertaining African drum set from Ifo and friends.
"The evening was a wonderful demonstration on the part of Islanders to open their hearts for others both at home and abroad," said Patsy Dingwell, who helped establish the school twinning project through Farmers Helping Farmers.
The money raised from "Join the Joy" is already in action in Kenya, where construction has started on a number of cookhouses.
The 2017 Village Feast in July raised $100,000, on top of the $200,000 that has been raised in previous years.
The event has made a significant impact at schools twinned through Farmers Helping Farmers over the last decade, building 14 cookhouses, as well as providing 17 water tanks and funds to hire gardeners for the school gardens built at schools with cookhouses.
The Village Feast has also contributed locally, including thousands of dollars for the Souris Food Bank, Coats for Kids and Main Street Family Resource Centre in Souris.