The Evo Bistro in McLean hosted a wine tasting to benefit Teach Them to Fish Foundation Sunday night to help raise money to build a school in the village of Kaleu in Uganda. The event raised $13,535.
“We like to host a lot of charity events. Our owners have a soft spot for local charities,” said Gerald Keating, a manager at Evo Bistro. “McLean seems like a close-knit community and we’ve found allowing space for these events works out well for everyone.”
CAROLYN DELANEY, who chaired the event, said the evening was designed to raise money for the school, but also to raise awareness of Teach Them to Fish Foundation.
“Our goal is to raise money for school and to tell people about the foundation’s goal of building schools for orphaned children,” Delaney said. “We’ve had a pretty good turnout tonight and I think it’s very generous for people to come out without knowing much about the charity in this economy.”
Candace Sahm, a special education teacher from Washington, D.C., heard about the event on Facebook and said she thought it would be a good opportunity to learn more.
“I think it’s a terrific idea and it’s certainly a worthy cause to raise money for,” Sahm said. “Plus it’s always been a goal of mine to teach in Africa. I think it would give me a completely different perspective.”
Anita King of Springfield also said she enjoyed the event, calling it a “beautiful place with a good atmosphere with terrific people.”
The Sunday event was a wine-tasting and silent auction featuring items donated by various local businesses. Items included a private dinner, a teeth-whitening, a free home appraisal and an iPad. One hundred percent of the money raised will go to the foundation.
TEACH THEM TO FISH FOUNDATION, based out of Clifton and founded by lawyer Lawrence Sizemore, raises money to build schools for orphaned and impoverished children in Southeast Asia, Africa and other developing parts of the world.
“I travel a lot for business and in 2006, I was showing some pictures of these impoverished areas to my children. In the U.S. we have a good life so they hadn’t seen this sort of thing,” Sizemore said. “So we sat down as a family and figured out how to charter this organization.”
Their first school was completed in March of 2008 for the Prey Phghues and Ba Sre Villages in the Battambang Province of Cambodia. Since then, they have built two other schools in Vietnam and Africa. Sizemore says they are working on 10 schools right now and are planning to open four this year in Africa, which will teach more than 2,000 children.
“One of the things we focus on in Africa is getting the girls to school. They’re not a priority in rural Africa,” he said. “Once they hit puberty, they’re considered ready to have kids and they can get married as early as age 12. There’s a lot of gender discrimination in that area.”
Plans call for the primary school in Kaleu to host 500 children that are impoverished or have been orphaned from AIDS. The foundation estimates it will cost $50,000. More information about Teach Them to Fish Foundation can be found at www.teachthemtofish.org.