Culture Without Borders Gala: The Ivy Room

Last week we executed Pan-African Association's annual Culture Without Borders gala at The Ivy Room. After months of planning, we couldn't wait to kick off the fun and informative affair... and raise money for a good cause!! The evening started off with a cocktail reception, silent auction and raffle. It led into a dinner and program and concluded with passed desserts, group photos and a fashion designer showcase.

We had many incredible folks and groups involved in the evening. Sarah Schulte, news reporter for ABC 7 News, was the emcee. Two refugees, Semere and Francine, shared their stories. Dance group Afrikan Heat from University of Illinois at Chicago and master drummer Prince Malonga with Beto Bantu performed for the evening. Fashion designers Joquette Boutique and Akese Stylelines showed off new pieces in a fashion show. And guess what... most of the models were actually refugees who had benefited from services like those provided by Pan-African Association. DJ Malik and DJ Teebot kept the energy high with their music.

We also had many great behind the scenes folks who made a big impact on the evening. There were four hair and makeup artists who donated their time and talents: Milian Bonillo, Kate Johnson Artistry, Tricia Davis and Kendyl Beauty did hair and makeup for the models. Escandar Group Events helped with some planning in the final weeks, and helped coordinate the many moving parts the night of the event!

All photographs below are by the talented photographer Nancy Valladolid. I LOVE the colors she captured. How beautiful and how full of life!

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