Dateline, Saturday, December 16, 2017, venue, Atlanta City Hall atrium, event ,the 10th Anniversary Gala of the Ghanaian Women’s Association of Georgia (GWAG) .The glitzy evening featured Guest of Honor, Faith Abubey, an Emmy-nominated journalist and news anchor at 11Alive News station in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as special guests C. Jack Ellis, former Mayor of Macon, Dr. Adrienne Johnson, a retired Coca-Cola Marketing Executive and GWAG Board Director, and Dar’shun Kendrick, a member of the Georgia House of Representatives. The event was attended by about 200 guests including community leaders and members of the association.
The evening kicked off with a warm welcome from the mistress of ceremonies, Ms. Yvonne McCowin, a GWAG member. This was followed by a farewell speech by GWAG’s outgoing president, Agnes Hayfron Barnor. In her remarks, she recounted how the association was birthed out of the desire by a group of ordinary women inspired by a sense of community and a responsibility to improve the lives of women and children through giving.
According to her, “our decade-long journey has been one characterized by a commitment to give back and an insistence that our combined efforts can bring about positive change to others.” She continued, “that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and work together to make a difference.”
In her speech, Mrs. Hayfron Barnor highlighted some of the association’s achievements notable among which are: the biggest fundraising campaign in the organization’s history that generated $60,000 in two years towards improving maternity care, the adoption of maternity wards in Elmina and Oda, and the donation of medical supplies to Yendi and Korle-bu hospitals as well as Adaklu, Ho West, and Ho Municipal polyclinics.
Other proud moments she highlighted were the registration of GWAG in Ghana as an NGO to leverage its fundraising potential and also the establishment of a Friends of GWAG network in the US which allows supporters to contribute monthly recurring donations towards the association’s projects.
According to her: “these accomplishments should make us all proud because we have together shown the capacity to change and make life better for others when we work together. It is that spirit, born of the desire to give – that has made GWAG one of the best nonprofits in the Ghanaian community in Georgia.”
Mrs. Hayfron thanked the outgoing executive for their dedication and support of the vision, members of the association for their selfless acts of service, donors for their generosity, and her family for their love and support throughout the years. She also expressed gratitude to Anita Wilson, chairperson of the 10th Anniversary committee and its members for creating a celebratory event of elegance and class.
The evening also saw the launch of the first-ever educational scholarship – Ghana Cultural Ambassador Scholarship which was presented to Ama P. Kessie, a nursing student at Georgia State University. Ms. Shahara Ruth, who chaired the scholarship committee jointly presented the award with outgoing president, Agnes Hayfron Barnor.
Guest of Honor, Faith Abubey stirred the audience with her impassioned speech about the outstanding work that the organization is doing. She remarked, “An outstanding organization is not built overnight, so what we are witnessing here today is the culmination of ten years of hard work, focus, dedication, perseverance, and great leadership.”
She continued “That you are still standing as an organization today is itself a feat accomplished by very few. It is my sincere hope that ten years from now you will still be standing, still strong, still giving and still caring. It is also my hope that what you have done up until today will not fade with time but will shine brighter and brighter with the years; that your leaders will be stronger, more dedicated, and even more passionate than those who have come before them.”
The gala honored individuals and businesses that have contributed most significantly to the organization’s success. Among the awards presented were: Impact Award – for the top 3 donors, Legacy Award – for the top 3 Friends of GWAG contributors, Member of the Year, Service Awards to outgoing executive team, and awards for the top 5 fundraising champions.
Following an acceptance speech by the incoming president, Adiza Harruna, in which she projected the vision for the next two years, the incoming executive members were sworn in by Dr. Adrienne Johnson, a GWAG Board director. She congratulated and thanked them for their dedication.
Guests were then treated to a variety cultural performances, a fashion show by GWAG youth, and a buffet of sumptuous Ghanaian dishes for dinner. The evening was capped off with gala guests dancing into the night to music by DJ Q on the atrium dance floor.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the Ghanaian Women’s Association of Georgia is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports maternity healthcare and educational initiatives for women in under-served regions in Ghana.
Ghanaian Women’s Association of Georgia
2897 N Druid Hills Road,
Atlanta, GA 30329