Tanzania-Based NGO to Hold Two GTA Fundraisers in February

Cynthia Cheng

The Olive Branch for Children, Deborah McCracken’s organization which helps people and communities in Tanzania affected by HIV/AIDS, will be holding two fundraising events this month.  The first, a small cocktail event in Yorkville, will be held this February 11 at the Empire Restaurant and Lounge on Cumberland and Bay from 7 pm to 9 pm.  The event, which is in its second year, not only supports the organization (operational costs, medical costs, etc…), but will also acquaint downtowners with the Olive Branch.  Also, the cocktail evening is serving as a pre-event to the gala, to be held two weeks later.  Tickets for the cocktail event will be available at the door for $50.

Deborah McCracken (top right) with some kids from the Olive Branch for Children

The gala started five years ago with 120 people in attendance.  Since then, it has more than tripled, with nearly 400 guests for the 2009 event.  Deborah and her organizers are hoping to break the record at this year’s February 26 event.  The event, which will be at Bellevue Manor in Vaughan, consists of a five course, sit-down dinner with entertainment, a silent auction, speeches, updates and more, for a cost of $100, a very decent price compared to similar events in the 416.  Attendees will receive a $40 tax receipt.  In general, 98% of funds netted go directly to the organization.

The Olive Branch for Children has touched the lives of more than 60,000 people in Tanzania.  Donations have come from all over, including $7,000 from the U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania.  Currently, the Olive Branch for Children has a partnership with Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.  For more information on the Olive Branch for Children, including details on how to get tickets for the gala, please visit www.theolivebranchforchildren.org.