WELLfed, an upscale shoreline charity dinner party that builds fresh water wells for impoverished Ugandan villages, is in the process of becoming a standalone non-profit by the end of 2015. As it does, its unique concept will be expanded to other states and other forms of fundraising. That will start with a WELLfed fashion event this coming fall.
“A Taste of Africa” is the dinner theme, and the catering sponsor is A Thyme To Cook of North Stonington. Organizers describe the upcoming event as “…a mingling food stations and hors d’oeuvres in the outside orchard, with dessert and coffee inside the Big House.” Wine and beer will also be locally sponsored. White Gate Farm, Zest Fresh Pastry and Savvy Tea will all donate items for goody bags.
Earth2, the Madison-based company responsible for WELLfed, says it has committed to building 100 wells internationally by 2020. CEO Josh Chalmers is the driving force behind the initiative, which holds its next fundraising dinner on May 21 at White Gate Farm in East Lyme, Connecticut. Notable guests will be Call to Care Uganda chairman Chris Ochaloi, as well as founder Martha Hoffman. Chalmers says the financial goal for the May 21 dinner is $8,000 to fund one sustainable clean water system.
The May 21 event benefits Awasi village in Uganda, which joins Onyal village as the second Ugandan community to receive a new water system courtesy of shoreline gastronomes.
Regarding the future of WELLfed, Chalmers says it will evolve into a standalone 501c3 non-profit organization, with its own website and identity. “The paperwork has been started and we’re hoping to have it done within six months,” he says. As this happens, Chalmers will leverage growing interest in doing WELLfed fundraisers other than the upscale dinners it’s been established on. That begins with a WELLfed fashion show lunch on the shoreline in the fall of 2015. “I’m trying to show that these events can be different,” he says. As WELLfed expands it will also move into other states. Future fundraisers are now being planned for New York and Boston, Chalmers says.
The dinner at White Gate Farm marks the second time that elite shoreline vendors and activists will band together to bring fresh water to villagers in Uganda. It’s an expression of Earth2 itself – a for-profit company whose mission statement of “change the world before bedtime” is powered by Chalmers’ own sense that shoreline residents have a social responsibility to share the wealth.
“We know how lucky we are to live on the Connecticut shoreline,” he says. “We can share that with those who are not as lucky.” He adds that WELLfed is all about being a “good neighbor” and “socially conscious.”
White Gate Farm is an inspired setting for the evening. This organic farm in southeastern Connecticut is seated on 100 acres, with a charming New England quality. “The event is always a bit more relaxed than your standard foodie events like wine dinners,” says Chalmers, “to keep the focus on the world changing and mingling and networking.” WELLfed 2 takes place on May 21st from 6-8:30pm. The price is $100 per person, $75 of which is tax deductible and set aside for the well. Organizers ask that donors rsvp by May 15th.
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Image Credits: Earth2-WELLfed