The IAFL first “5th Year Gala of Angels” was a history-making event for the Organization. We owe special gratitude to many sponsors, donors, volunteers, guests, and participants for the success of a year-long planning mission. It was our desire to fundraise as much money as we could to support the Haiti mission, as well as, to say “Thank You” to college volunteers who gave of their time, talents, and ideas to support IAFL’s vision. To accomplish this pursuit, our Founder and President, along with the Executive Board, supported the idea of providing eligible volunteers with a scholarship. Scholarships were funded through the support of the Gala’s event sponsor.  This sponsorship made it possible for the student volunteers to receive an award for their service. 

Eighteen students were nominated to participate in the scholarship initiative. Criteria for the scholarship endeavor were established. Students were required to submit an essay about volunteering with IAFL, what they had accomplished and what they learned. It was an honor to present scholarships to: Katherine Dinh (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Ava Daniels (UC Berkeley University), Swetha Ramachandran (Georgetown University), Gabriela Hizgilov (Rutgers University), and Anella Minasian (Fordham University).

Katherine Dinh’s remarks of thanks had a positive impact upon the entire room. Katherine said, “Thank you so much for an incredible night at the gala. Everything was beautiful–from the decorations to the food, to the people. It was also wonderful to have finally met everyone in person. I have been vlogging my medical school journey (I’m in week 4 of classes!) and I am excited to include the gala as part of the vlog for my friends and family to watch!  I also wanted to thank you for the organization’s generous gift. It means so much more than you know. You embody the quote, “love is patient, love is kind.” To support IAFL, I would like to donate $1000 of my scholarship award to sponsor 5 of our girls in Haiti. I will invest the remaining $500 into my medical education to serve the underserved in the city of New Brunswick. I will always live out IAFL’s mission in my practice of medicine, and I will never forget this generous gift.” “I am abundantly grateful for everything I’ve learned during my years with IAFL. Thank you for helping me build confidence in myself and allowing me to serve our girls in Haiti. I’m looking forward to seeing the IAFL community grow as the years go on. Please keep in touch! I am just an email away. Thank you for everything, and I hope you all have an amazing summer.”

Black and Gold was certainly showcased on Saturday, July 29, 2023 Gala of Angels Celebration starting with the thoroughly entertaining Master of Ceremony, Reverend Scharkner Michaud who kept the program on point and the audience on the edge of their seats. Every speaker, Mr. Seven Strauser, Mr. Adam Perle, and the keynote speaker Dr. dt ogilvie were adorned in the celebration colors and filled with words of wisdom and inspiration. The music and entertainment by Ms. Jocelyne Dorisme and company was reminiscent of the Caribbean soulful sound. Her melodious voice and deep connection with the audience captivated the evening. Without a doubt, a good time was had by everyone. We look forward to another year of celebration!

Written by Magnolia Brown

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