The evening of May 11th marked Tahirih’s 21st Annual Gala, a night of celebration and commitment to the tireless pursuit of justice for women and girls fleeing violence.
The program opened with an inspiring Bahá’í prayer read by former client and current member of the Board of Directors, Fouzia Hillalzai, reminding us that the equality of men and women is a necessary condition for the full potential of humankind to be reached.
Eun Yang, the dynamic and talented anchor of NBC’s morning news in Washington, DC welcomed the crowd of more than 600 at the Marriott Marquis as the evening’s fabulous Master of Ceremonies. She framed the festivities and incredible entertainment that lay ahead – including a private concert by award winning artist Andy Grammer – and united the audience in a common goal:
“We are here tonight to honor the women and girls fleeing violence who show incredible courage and strength under the most difficult conditions – facing extreme violence and an extremely complex legal system. We are here to recognize the marathon that is this work and the village of people who are running that marathon – frontline professionals, community members, volunteers, staff, and donors. Most importantly, we are here to recommit ourselves to ending violence against women worldwide, knowing that full equality can only be achieved when both men and women come together and say no more.”
With a commitment to raising $850,000 for Tahirih’s critical work by the end of the evening, fundraising for the evening began with a feisty game of Heads or Tails to win tickets to the musical Hamilton, and Diamond Box tickets to a Washington National game. There were also opportunities to participate in a silent auction which boasted such winnings as an African Safari, trip to Ireland, and tickets to the Emmys.
Andy Grammer and Barfonce Baldwin, Tahirih Greater DC Development Manager, did the honor of hosting the signature fundraising activity, Fund-A-Need, and encouraged everyone to look deeply into their hearts and wallets, helping change a life by providing clients with legal services and advocacy, social services, and so much more.
As the Gala began to wind down, followed by a slew of thank yous to all of Tahirih’s tireless supporters who made the evening possible, Yang declared the night a success with the announcement that an incredible $1,000,000 had been raised.
Participants celebrated this triumph with a memorable after-party, featuring an inspiring concert by multi-platinum artist Andy Grammer. Andy entertained fans with his musical genius and his unique and deeply needed message about the good each person can do in the world.
This evening was a victory – thank you to our many generous supporters who gave their time, talent and resources to make it happen!