Saturday, October 6, 2007

2nd Annual Wine Tasting

After the success of our Wine Tasting last October, it was decided to go to it again with gusto! Last year we raised money to fund automatic external defibrillators for the Anacortes School District. This year it was decided to split the proceeds between the programs and projects of SIFI and the Borgen Project. This national organization, working to make poverty at home and abroad the number one priority of U.S. political leaders, was founded by Clint Borgen, a native son of Anacortes. Shortly after graduating from Anacortes High School, Borgen developed the organization’s concept while volunteering in refugee camps amid war and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Borgen went on to intern in Europe with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Immediately upon graduation from college, Borgen set out to ignite political pressure for global poverty-reduction. He spent a year living on a fishing vessel in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to earn the necessary capital to get the organization off the ground. Today, just three years after its humble beginnings, The Borgen Project is now a leading organization in the global anti-poverty campaign and Borgen regularly meets with the top congressional offices in Washington D.C. to lobby for increased U.S. involvement in global poverty-reduction. Since the vast majority of those living in poverty are women and children, this fit our goals perfectly.

On October 21st, some eighty people attended our 2nd Annual Wine Tasting at the Depot Arts Center. Carpenter Creek Winery provided the wine, Skagit River Brewery provided microbrews and Clint Borgen gave a short talk on poverty, the Millenium Goals and his work with the Borgen Project. Guests enjoyed ample food and libations and bid generously on silent auction items that included Mariners tickets and a luncheon cruise on a 36 foot steel trawler. After expenses, our receipts from ticket and wine sales, the silent auction and direct donations amounted to $3900. Half of this, we have sent to the Borgen Project.

Consider that in 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders ever assembled met in New York City and agreed to cut hunger in half by 2015 and end it by 2025. The plan to end world hunger is underway but receiving very little support from U.S. political leaders. Without the world’s agenda-setter making the Millennium Goals a global priority, 600 million people will remain in poverty who otherwise could live healthy, productive lives. Every 3.6 seconds another person dies of starvation and the large majority are children under the age of 5. The Borgen Project is putting pressure on U.S. leaders to achieve the plan they already agreed to - the plan to end world hunger. Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island sees ending world hunger as a fundamental way to improve the lives of women and girls.

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