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Passport2Freedom Gala; a Smashing Sucess

Our inaugural fundraising gala for Global Orphan Prevention was a smashing success! The number of high-level humans under one roof with a single purpose to create change was incredible.

Thank you all so much for joining us on our journey. The energy and love about the room on Saturday night created such a buzz, and it’s all because of you.

You. Who we can’t do this without.

The objective was to raise funds for our Girls Empowerment Center in Nuwakot Nepal, reducing the 25% of adolescent girls who are abducted annually and sold to the for-profit orphan homes and Indian brothels. Any remaining Gala revenue would seed our brand new Denver program!

Our on-stage program began by showing a documentary that Charlie Whiskey helped me film and edit, taking the viewer through our long-standing missing girls’ investigation in Nepal and India. We finished by outlining the vision to help the girls in the region we operate through the implementation of our very first Empowerment Center & Dormitory. Establishing this center and educational facility will challenge the inequality built by an oppressive system and transform young girls into independent free thinkers. By providing girls an educational environment conducive to their learning potential, it will positively impact local and frontier economies, and ultimately set them up to be leaders in their communities.

There is one commonality regarding the rise of young women, there is one thing that everyone needs to create success and fulfillment in this world, and that starts with education and realizing their potential.

This is our first-ever event of this magnitude and was produced by 100% volunteers (except the bartenders) and we got 90% of the product & services donated.

Because of an incredible team of dedicated volunteers and in-kind donors, we netted around $85K, exceeding our goal, and achieving something unheard of for a first-year gala. Thanks to the wonderful people at this gala, we have been successful at reaching our funding goals for Phase 1 & 2, and half of Phase 3. Now we are fundraising for the remainder of Phase 3, 4, and 5.

It’s amazing what happens when a small group of dedicated humans from Denver Colorado decide they want to create large systemic change. Each and every person plays an integral part – some small, some large – but never doubt that all our needed on this journey.

I fly to Nepal in October and will be blogging from the field and providing updates.

Thank you again for helping us exceed our goal and build our Empowerment Center. I am so happy that you are joining us on this journey.

With Gratitude,

Katie Hilborn
Founder & ED
Global Orphan Prevention

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A Note of Thanks!

I really want to emphasize what is takes to create such a successful event. Thank you to the following humans for making our first-year event so beautiful:

SPONSORS:

  • Scott Brewer and Roy Drake from Insight Sports Group opened up their entire executive team (including Jarred Brown & Luke Strahmer) to provide consultation on the project planning and development of our first Empowerment Center and offered mentorship and resources for the Gala program and experience. They (and their friends’) willingness to make connections and ensure success is humbling.
  • Doc Kennedy, founder of AdvisorLaw, has been our pro-bono lawyer since the founding of the organization in 2011 and helped form our 501(c)3. He’s always available for a phone call when needed, and his level of integrity is something I value.
  • Dominick Paoloni, founder of IPS Strategic Capital, has been a mentor and friend for years, is a member of the Executive Board of Directors, and has been instrumental in helping anchor down our vision. He also opened up his entire team of interns to volunteer for our Gala, securing items for our auction.


TABLE SPONSORS:

  • City Street Investors Inc, IPS Strategic Capital, Balm Fitness, Chris Ward LegalShield, Salwa Owens Designer, High Altitude Martial Arts, and Hodges GENCO


IN-KIND DONORS:

  • Lara Smedley, owner of Smedley Events: donated her event planning and production services, creating beautiful attention to detail and helped manage the day-of volunteers, including catering, vendors, and rentals
  • Kevlyn Walsh, owner of Festive Fashionista has been our official graphic designer; from flyers to Facebook covers, to programs, table tents, banners, and all signage.
  • Table Centerpieces: Mary Martha’s Floral Design and Scott Gamble Glass
  • Love SignHighlights Colorado
  • Documentary: Charlie Whiskey from Mine the Sky Visuals
  • Media: Johnny Lynch Film, O Hello Media, and KLOVE

EXHIBITS:

  • Jenna Noelle Photography printed on canvas by Circle Graphics
  • Avital Miller Dance from Healing Happens
  • Children’s Artwork by Lisa Hunter & Tim Bearden 

LIVE AUCTION DONORS:

  • IPS Strategic Capital, Lander Loos from Visit Natural Detox Resort, Anne & Bryan Sullivan with High Altitude Martial Arts, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Gnat Jewelry Atelier, and Mike Ward Automotive

 FOOD & BEVERAGE SPONSORS:

  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Bierstadt Lager, Nom Nom Asian Grill, Denver Poke Company, Golden Taipei, Sherpa Chai, SR Originals, and Aloy Modern Thai

SILENT AUCTION DONORS:

  • Two Cranes Botanicals, Merlan CBD Shop, Fit36 Highlands, Piper Rastello, Mine the Sky Visuals, Jenna Noelle Photography, Salon Joa, Threads Worldwide, Warby Parker, Smartwool, Wings over the Rockies, Uchi Sushi, American Furniture Warehouse, Beatrice & Woodsley, Denver Film Society, Museum of Nature & Science, Canvas Organics, Body Dynamix, Beach Body, Delafoto Portraits Studio, Denver Zoo, Comedy Works, History Colorado, Crazy Mountain Brewery, My Favorite Things, Gallerie Quilt, Super Mega Bien, plus more!

PHOTOGRAPHY DONATED BY: O Hello Media

GALA PLANNING COMMITTEE:
Katie Hilborn – Chairperson
Lara Smedley – Program & Experience Chairperson
Lindsey Friend – Auction Chairperson
Jennifer Rees-Evans – Auction Co-Chairperson
Kevlyn Walsh – Marketing Chairperson / Graphic Designer
Kara Flynn – Ticket Sales & Sponsorship Chairperson
Lisa Hodges Hunter – Art Exhibit
Kimmy Tran Yoosoontrong – Catering
Holly Hein – Rentals
Douglas Miller – Sponsorship
Lauren Castrogiovanni – Auction
Willow Turano – Decorations
Dr. Michelle MacCarthy – Ticket Sales
Jen Rehm – Ticket Sales
Dr. Stefanie Bernritter Kleine – Ticket Sales

BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Dominick Paoloni, Vice President
Josh Whitaker
Tanya Pomirchy
Kevlyn Walsh, Graphic Designer
Tiffany Cheng
Lincoln Jones
Kara Flynn
Sara Kruid
Eric Kufta
Shawna Reed

Plus the 24 day-of volunteers who made our event a HUGE success! Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!

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