by Jessica Isaac

On August 12, WBH Founder and President Barbara Goldberg hosted the annual Wells Bring Hope Volunteer/Supporter Appreciation Barbecue at her home in Los Angeles. The grill was fired up as guests mingled in the California heat, enjoying the shaded backyard and getting to know each other.

{Brad Driggers and Barbara Goldberg}

{Nick Privatelli mans the grill}
{The Frazee Family} {Nate Damodaran and Nathan Chong}
{Lauren McCluskey, daughter Lia, and Gil Garcetti} {Sharon Croskery and Tamara Hoffman}

Local musician Xander Smith of Run, Run, Run played an acoustic set while Daniel Yadlosky (videographer) and Kristin Allen (interviewer) took the opportunity to conduct short interviews with the WBH volunteers and supporters to see what really drives the people behind WBH.

{Daniel Yadlosky films while Kristin Allen interviews
Dennis Ogojo and Rosario Lopez of L.A. High}
{Xander Smith of Run, Run, Run}
{WBH Director of Microfinance Hadiara Diallo with L.A. students Rosario Lopez and Dennis Ojogho and Dennis’ mom, Esther}
{The Kareem Team – Rosalie, Abigail, and Stephanie} {The Kilroy family and Barbara Goldberg}
{Mandana Azad, Barbara Goldberg, Gil Garcetti, and Alan Azad} {Melissa}
{Rosalie checks out her raffle prize – a copy of Water is Life by our own Gil Garcetti} {Kevin Kilroy and Kaira Robertson}

The evening’s presentation began with many thanks from Barbara to those who have donated their time and efforts to WBH. She then presented Dennis Ojogho, a supporter who raised money for WBH by starting a Water Circle at L.A. High, with a graduation gift and congratulated him on his acceptance to Harvard! Dennis then spoke briefly about his involvement with Wells Bring Hope and credited his mother Esther, a native of Nigeria, with inspiring his passion for bringing safe water to West Africa. Finally, another volunteer was highlighted as Nancy Nagel, WBH Grant Team Director, presented the Volunteer of the Year award to Nathan Damodaran.

{Barbara Goldberg thanking Dennis Ojogho} {Dennis and his mom, Esther}
{Volunteer of the Year – Nate Damodaran}

Gil Garcetti, former L.A. County District Attorney and Vice President of WBH kicked off the next round of speakers, one of whom was WBH Director of Microfinance Hadiara Diallo. Diallo shared her experiences going from growing up in Niger, a country where women have no hopes and dreams, to witnessing an increase in hope as WBH provides safe water and microfinance programs to Nigerien women. Kareem Ahmed, Wells Bring Hope’s biggest individual donor, rounded out the evening with inspiring words about his humble beginnings and how giving back has shaped who he is today.

{Gil Garcetti} {Hadiara Diallo} {Kareem Ahmed}
{Kareem Ahmed, Barbara Goldberg, and Gil Garcetti}

{Video by Daniel Yadlosky}