Hope for Honduras Gala a Success

Engineers Without Borders Raise Record Amount for Project

By: Jenae Williams

Guests examine auction items and the traditional Dash for Dessert table at this year's Hope for Honduras gala.

Walla Walla University’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-WWU) hosted their annual spring gala fundraiser in late April. With over 90 guests in attendance, the event was a success, raising the largest amount from a single event toward their Hope for Honduras project in Nueva Suyapa, Honduras.

“Traditionally, we raise amounts around $6,000 from the gala,” says Curt Nelson, one of the sponsors for EWB-WWU. “This year I asked our students if we should make our goal higher, and they said, ‘Sure, why not?’” They set the goal at $8,000. Through the gala, the chapter raised $10,000 for Nueva Suyapa.

Most of the money came from the live auction.  Items such as Honduran hammocks and coffee, a professional photograph by Gary Hamburgh, a one-week stay at an Hawaiian condo, and golf packages were just a few of the items that were auctioned. One unique item, a can of the discontinued, but fondly remembered, vegetarian food Nuteena was auctioned off for $125. After all auction items were sold, the auctioneer called for “gifts from the heart,” a chance for guests to make voluntary donations. In the end, those gifts brought in over $3,000 for the project.

The gala also featured two presentations by members of EWB-WWU. One presentation, made by Melodie Selby, professor of engineering, and Cameron Houmann, senior civil engineering major, provided an update on the completion of the drainage and sanitation project from November 2011 in Luis Garcia, Honduras. Professor Brian Roth and three students also shared about the preliminary work that was accomplished in Nueva Suyapa on their March spring break trip.

The current project in Nueva Suyapa consists of designing and assisting with the construction of a new five-classroom school building. In late August, team members will travel there again to inspect the foundation of the school and provide support to the construction of the school’s walls and roof.

For more information on how you can be a part of this project, visit their website listed below.

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