Celebrate Hope

After a mission trip to Africa last year, a dozen Cape Girardeau residents returned with a resolve to help some of the orphans in Swaziland. An event called Celebrate Hope was held recently to raise money for the Heart for Africa organization to build an orphanage. In a generous outpouring of donations, more than $122,000 was raised during a single benefit event.

Some 600 individuals attended the Celebrate Hope fundraiser and showed their support through ticket sales, sponsorships, auctions and a raffle.

"I never thought we could have done it all in one night," said the event's coordinator, Raelenna Ferguson. "I thought it would take us years" to reach the $100,000 goal the group set for itself.

Celebrate Hope has another event planned to raise funds for the Heart for Africa organization. It is a run-walk scheduled for 8 a.m. May 1 at La Croix United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau.

Everyone involved in this successful fundraiser -- those who planned and organized it and those who donated -- are to be commended for realizing the needs of the world at a time when so many countries are struggling with overwhelming problems.

Thanks, Celebrate Hope, and good luck.