What a FUN(d)RAISER! Last week, the Origer family enthusiastically hosted Darius Rucker and his band at the Marengo, Illinois family farm. This was a private event with all ticket proceeds and donations going towards medical equipment for a much needed new hospital in Arusha, Tanzania. The event was a long time in the making, originating at the MATTER organization’s event in October of 2016, which honored my Auntie Jill with the 2016 Humanitarian Award for her work in Dandora, Kenya.
While we couldn’t have asked for worse weather (thunderstorms, of course!) the day turned out perfectly. The event started at 3PM and we were met with pouring rain and thunder. Cars got stuck in the mud and food trucks had to relocate into the hanger and out of the rain. Fortunately, the hanger made for the perfect ‘barn party’ environment. The stage was set up in the center, with a bar in one corner, a photo area in another, and food set up on the other side. Food options included tacos, pizza, a roasted pig, and a dessert truck.
A 6-person opener, the MOE GAS band played before Darius and killed it! They got the barn rocking in anticipation of the main event. The barn was set up Ravinia-style with lawn chairs laid out around the dance floor in front of the stage. Some people sat or danced and listened to the band, while others ate food, got drinks at the bar, or read up on New DAWN Africa’s latest advancement on informational pamphlets laid out on tables throughout the barn.
Around 5PM, Darius hit the stage. His original setlist had him playing for 25 minutes exactly, singing seven songs. When 5:30 came around, however, he just couldn’t leave! The sun was finally peeking out beyond the barn doors and everyone was having a great time for such a great cause, including the band. The Darius Rucker Band encored not just one more song, but for another hour! In addition to his original songs, he played a handful of covers, handed out some guitar picks to the youngsters standing front row, and gave some shout-outs to fans in the crowd singing each and every word to his music. The crowd danced to the beat and got as close to Darius as physically possible. After his prolonged hour-and-a-half show, Darius thanked the hosts, the MATTER organization (they advise, source and install the equipment), and of course New DAWN Africa and all who donated.
Everything, including time and effort as well as monetary donations and all food and beverages, were donated to the event, to support the Hospital project in Tanzania, Africa. In total, nearly $60,000 was raised in efforts of facilitating optimal health, wellness, empowerment and hope to another community in East Africa, thanks to all who supported Darius LIVE at the Farm. I will forever think of New DAWN Africa and the great work that is being done when I hear Darius Rucker!
To learn more about New DAWN Africa and support our initiatives, visit www.newdawnafrica.org