Source: African Spectrum
1st Annual Fundraiser and Dinner Dance
Chicago September 26 2015:- God works in amazing ways! The Chicago Chapter of Archbishop Porter Past Students Association (APPSA) has proven that solidarity is for like-minded people. The chapter received a letter from the Headmistress Ms. Mary Blay Amah Brago, and from Mr. Jojo Quansah, the head of information at the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington D.C. Both parties extended and lent their support to the newly-formed association and they proved that standing for a cause is always welcome and that we don’t need too many people to execute what is good.
The record has confirmed that Chicago has always taken the lead when it comes to organizations. We have established Ghanafest, which is the biggest event in the Diaspora outside of Ghana. In Chicago, we have representation of all Ghanaian Associations based on regional connections, student associations, churches, tribal affiliations, neighborhood networks and suburb linkages. All these associations put Chicago on the top of the list. And now the latest association APPSA who regardless of their numbers have proven that at least trying to contribute and stand for a reason is worth it.
When in December 2014, APPSA – and there are only four of them namely Mrs. Pauline Akoto Owusu, Ms. Florence Addo, Mrs. Abena Agyemang Bugyei and Ms. Vera Sackey and their former teacher Ms. Christina Owusu Kwateng- decided to embark on such an effort, little did they know that they could accomplish a function of this magnitude. The ability to make their true intentions of raising funds for their alma mater was but a characteristic acumen that differentiated people of all levels. In addition people of all levels showed up to lend their support.
The results from the latest Ghanaian High School contest of “Who is Who” in terms of academic excellence pits Archbishop Porter as the 4th institution among all Ghanaian schools. The most ironic gist to all this is that Archbishop Porter is directly behind (Opoku Ware School (Chicago Chapter), OWASS#3) who incidentally are amongst the sponsors along with St. Louis Old Past Students Association (SLPOSA) and Mfantseman.
The event had been publicized in African Spectrum Newspaper and Sankofa Online. On the D Day, the night would be for love, giving and devotion. Patronizers kept flowing in like tributaries that had only one thing in mind. They headed and flowed into the same river of fundraising. They had witnessed fundraisers for alma maters but this event had been raised to another status. Even though it was the first time and doubts were trending, it was all about belief. And they believed with over 20 sponsors digging deep into their pockets while providing the necessary monetary muscles for the event.
The night started casually at 10:30 pm but the early birds, due to the ambience and effort from the organizers never minded and had a good time. The music streamed. Upon entering the hall, the banner displayed our sponsors majestically. Our well-wishers and sponsors, most of them not being to physically show up let their checkbooks talk for them. Most patrons could not believe the energy invested in a first time endeavor whereby only few people could have had the courage to pull off a grand event like this.
For us in the Diaspora, due to our growing population, we all know that it is extremely difficult to have a function without any conflictions. Once you pick a date, the probability of crashing with other events will always be imminent and uncertainties prevail every second knowing that one will be competing with about four other functions however, the good Lord saved the day and because of their belief, people also believed in their cause.
On this memorable night of September 26, 2015, during APPSA and the First Annual Dinner Dance, folks reciprocated proving that it is always about the objective and the quality of implementation. African Spectrum was there and so was Sankofa Online and Legend Talk TV and Radio. Apart from the afore-mentioned organizations and personal friends who donated to this cause, other organizations want to be part of next year’s celebration.
The event started with the emcees Mr. Kwodwo Larbi and Mr. Steve Dei, who relayed their messages and the theme for the night in gigantic ways. Most people do not know that Archbishop Porter was formerly known as St. Louis Secondary School, Takoradi and it was through the efforts that St. Louis in Kumasi came into existence. The emcees would make this known. The night was for fundraising and that is what they were present to do.
The aroma of the catered Caribbean food including Jerk Chicken, Curried Goat, Red Rice and Beans, Jolloff Rice, Fried Plantain and meat pie permeated the air while soothing the famished cravings of patrons. No one had to cue up for food because the food would be dished out and served to individual tables. Drinks flowed for those who through their persuasions needed whatever they needed.
The aim of APPSA is to help with the school library. Due to this, appeals had been made since December of last year to various organizations. Books were being donated from all sources. However, recognition has to be given to Mrs. Ceil Carey, Ms. Anita Hinton of Anita on a Mission and other donors who willingly contributed books. Major sponsors like African Spectrum Newspaper, Leak and Sons, Cybele Energy, Dr. Aaron Ohemeng, New Millennium Home Health, Gold Coast Home Health to mention a few, believed in the foundation and provided the financial strength to see this function through.
The keynote speaker, Ms. Kwateng, the former teacher, put patrons on a nostalgic trip. She narrated about how this fundraiser was key and orchestrated to help ease the overcrowding of students and the lack of basic amenities. A school that was built to accommodate 300 students now harbors 1800 students with few additional infrastructures. The situation is so horrible that the cluttered classrooms find students sometimes peeking through windows for lectures and the taking of notes.
The library with limited books seems like a ghost town. The science lab lack the apparatus for conducive learning. The bathhouse resembles a hub for the homeless. And these were the more reasons why the school needed help. And for APPSA, just as previously mentioned, they decided to tackle the library by providing them with the much-needed books and in the future with some furniture.
One thing that has materialized in this effort is that due to people mismanaging and abusing people for their monies, patrons on this night realized that this event truly was genuine. None of the organizers hail from the Western Region but that goes to show that the heart supersedes all organs. The core and the intention of one’s goals is what matters and for APPSA to start with zilch and perform like this is one for the history books.
On the School’s 50th Anniversary happening in Takoradi come November 21, 2015, APPSA intends to have representation at the event. The books that have been collected so far are about to be shipped. And hopefully, would arrive by the anniversary date. The idea is, there is nothing like a small donation and to all the sponsors and well-wishers who helped the cause, May God richly bless you!