Matteson IL September 23 2017: The Asanteman Association of Chicago and the Midwest organized a successful fundraising dinner dance at the luxurious Holiday Inn Banquet Hall, 500 Holiday Plaza Dr. Matteson IL 60443.The event is to raise funds towards the rehabilitation of the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital’s Maternity Ward A2! Attendance was estimated to be over ,400 majority dressed in various types of colorful Kente outfits. This year’s fundraising and Kente dance took place amidst a “dark cloud” over the event . This is due to the loss of Mrs. Elizabeth Bekoe, an active member of the Asanteman Association and former President of the Ghana National Council of Metropolitan Chicago. The late Mrs. Bekoe was a member of the planning committee of the event. Members of the Asanteman Association wore back pieces of cloth on their wrists in honor of their fallen heroine !
Special guests of the occasion were Oheneba Kwaku Pimpim, from the Manhyia Palace, Kumasi, Ghana; Nana Adu Poku , Asantefuohene of Cincinnati and Master Kente weaver, Nana Kwami Ntim from Columbus. Nana Ntim demonstrated his kente weaving skills at the event. Nana Addai Baffour and Ohemaa Abena Amponsah, Asantefuohene and Asantefuohemaa of Chicago respectively, their sub-chiefs and elders were present. Other chiefs, queen mothers and elders in the Ghanaian community were also in attendance. The president of the Ghana National Council of Metropolitan Chicago, Mr. Paa Kwasi Sam and his wife, Juliana Sam were also present to grace the occasion and lend support to the Asanteman Association.
Before and after rehabilitation work video footage of the Maternity Ward A2 of the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital was shown to the audience. Prior to the initial rehabilitation work, the audience saw overcrowded labor ward with women in labor or new mothers either laying on the bare floor, or laying in pairs on rusted beds with no sheets or bed linens. The cemented floor has rusted metals exposed by cracks. There was only one sink serving the ward. Cots meant for individual babies were said to hold three babies at the nursery, and many other obvious health and structural issues were visible! The first phase of the rehabilitation work includes new sinks, new bathrooms, new floor tiles, painting etc. Items donated includes 64 pieces of brand new Hospital Equipment (2 multifunction obstetric beds, 15 manual crank beds, 15 waterproof mattresses, 15 bedside floor cabinets and 17 IV poles) at a total cost of $30,000.
In the future, the organizers should allocate more time for fundraising activities, dancing and less talking.
The Kente Dance Planning Committee that championed this successful event was made up of Mr. Victor Sakyi-Ntow Boafo (Chairman), Nana Yaw Asamoah, Nana Afua Durowaa, Nana Kofi Oduro, Nana Barnieh Agyeman, Obaapa Sally Owusu, Nana Yaw Kaakyire Marfo, The late Mrs. Elizabeth Bekoe, Mr. Francis Duah (I-Say), Mrs. Abena Agyeman-Bugyei, Mr. George Asiedu and Mrs. Linda Agyeman-Asare. They were ably backed by the entire members of the Asanteman Association of Chicago and the Midwest and the Ghanaian community.
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