On October 3rd, hundreds of New Yorkers gathered to celebrate and support the seventh annual Chefs for Impact Gala hosted at Second inside the Eventi Hotel. The Chefs For Impact gala is a culinary fundraiser event were Chefs from some of the best restaurants in NYC come together to create the exclusive four course meal. All proceeds go on to benefit Impact Network.
Impact Network is a wonderful organization which believes that every child deserves access to a quality education, by empowering local teachers with a tablet loaded with activity-based lessons and intensive training, referred to as eLearning.
It all starts with someone being passionate about making a change! In this case it was Dan Sutera, the Founder of Impact Network who decided to step up. Dan had over 10 years of growing start-up companies when he took a trip to visit rural Zambia, looking for his next challenge. It was there that he met David Seidenfeld, who had spent his years doing the Peace Corps, and currently building a school in Zambia. Together they created Impact Network in 2008, and have since been changing Zambia’s children’s lives, one school at a time.
For the gala, we started our evening with a lovely cocktail reception, which included a live band, signature cocktails, passed canapés, and plenty of time to check out the many fantastic items available to bid on for the silent auction.
After the cocktail hour, the doors opened up leading us to our grand dinner; galas are beautiful after all. We all found our tables and shared an amazing dinner cooked by Chefs Mark Henegan, Eric Simeon, Matt Bernero, Rhonda Crosson, and Matt Swanston. Supporters also took the podium to tell us about their wonderful first hand experiences helping out in Zambia. It truly warmed our hearts to see how generous everyone was during the live auction, one hand after another was raised to up to bid during the auction. But the most impressive was how without hesitation so many guest donated 10K to sponsor a school for a whole year, 5K for a set of new tablets at a school for three years, as well as 2.5K to sponsor a teacher for a whole year.
The funds raised that night will impact kids in way we could never imagine. The average child in Zambia starts working and contributing to his or her house hold at the age of 8, and without an education has a lesser hope of progression. Network Impact has helped communities by employing local workers to build the schools, local teachers to teach, and providing solar powered schools in rural areas that lack electricity or a school within walking distance. Today they have built 44 schools in Zambia and counting. If you would like to learn more about how you could get involved or make a donation, please visit www.impactnetwork.org.