When Corinne Hancock recently coached Landmark Education’s Self-Expression and Leadership program, her first thought was to do a small project. She was inspired about Raising Malawi, the organization founded two years ago by Michael Berg and brought to prominence by Madonna, that aids hundreds of thousands of orphan children living in the empoverished African nation. She thought she would do a small fundraiser involving people she knew. She received coaching to play bigger, and before she knew it she decided to hold a big, public fundraising extravaganza.
She met with Philippe van den Bossche, Raising Malawi’s Executive Director, requesting that Madonna sign and donate some of her children’s books for a silent auction that Hancock was having as part of her event. A week later, the books arrived signed by Madonna. van den Bossche himself came to Raising Hope, the February 9th event, which was a night out at Amuse, one of Denver’s hippest restaurant/lounges. In addition to the silent auction, the event featured gourmet food, wine, and entertainment provided by a team of 25 African dancers, all of whom were regugees from Sudan.
The space, the food and the entertainment were all donated, so 100% of the event proceeds went directly to Raising Malawi. Money was raised through the silent auction, raffles and a $55 ticket charge to attend. In total, more than 125 people came to the event, and about $12,000 was raised.
Hancock has been ecstatic about being able to make a difference for Raising Malawi on a larger scale than she thought possible. Hancock is clear that this one event is only the beginning–van den Bossche was impressed with what she was able to put together, and together they are looking at how to coordinate other Raising Malawi fundraisers across the country. For more information or to get involved, go to the Raising Malawi website.