by Susan Van Seggern

Last week, Wells Bring Hope celebrated incredible news at a spectacular fundraiser. “A Journey to Niger, West Africa” was held at the Lladro Gallery, 408 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, on Thursday October 27, hosted by Valgard Capital Partners, LLC, and its principals, Robert Kerrigan and Kenneth Kilroy.

The event featured memorable photos displayed throughout the gallery, taken by Ken Kilroy on his April 2011 trip to Niger. A video shot by his son, Ross, on the same trip was also shown that night. The event and video highlighted the accomplishments of Ken’s remarkable 15-year-old daughter, Kevin Kilroy, who, through donations from her church, school and others, raised funds for five wells. Leslie Miller of Channel 7 Eyewitness News was on hand to interview Kevin and the 2 ½ minute segment was aired the same night.

Wells Bring Hope Founder and President, Barbara Goldberg, kicked off the evening by thanking attendees and telling them about what Wells Bring Hope does and the uniqueness of its program. Also in attendance was former Los Angeles County District Attorney and internationally acclaimed photographer, Gil Garcetti who talked about what happens when a well is drilled in a village.

The most memorable part of the evening was the presentation of a major donation by WBH supporter, Panda Restaurant Group. Vice President Stanley Liu announced the donation by longtime Panda employees, Alan and Gigi Cheung of $56,000 which was matched by company Founder and Chairman, Andrew Cherng and his wife Peggy for a total gift of $112,000. Mr. Cherng was also present to receive the gratitude expressed by WBH. He has pledged to match all funds raised for wells by his employees who he has encouraged to support Wells Bring Hope.

These funds will enable WBH to drill 20 more wells, surpassing their 2011 goal of 40 by 8 wells. This does not include other donations from this fundraiser, which added 5 more wells.

For photos from the event, please see our Flickr page. For video from the event, please see our YouTube Channel. Click here to see the Channel 7 Eyewitness News segment.