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HopeRise Gala: A Night of Giving to Champion Ethiopian Causes

By Jessica Ross

The Mekdela Global Outreach Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on improving lives in Ethiopia, announces the inaugural HopeRise Gala. Hosted by the foundation's founder, Dr. Azeb Bhutia, this annual fundraising event aims to raise money and awareness for Ethiopian causes. The HopeRise Gala is scheduled to take place on December 10, 2023, from 5pm to 11pm at Nextdoor Lounge.

Dr. Azeb Bhutia (Founder of Mekdela Global Foundation and main organizer of HopeRise Gala)

In a collaborative effort with influential businesswomen and philanthropists, including Sofi Mamo, the dynamic force behind A Divine H20 and the Divine Homeless Project, as well as supermodel Toni Garrn, and duo RaQuel Sanchez and Alex Harris from Kiss The Monkeys | Kiss The Mermaids, the HopeRise Gala is poised to make a resounding impact. Aster Bekeke, instrumental in initiating and contributing to the fundraising efforts, lends her special assistance.

This gala promises an fabulous evening, featuring a formal red carpet affair, DJ performances, delectable food and drinks, captivating fashion shows, live musical performances, a prestigious awards ceremony, and a silent and live auction.

Alex Harris awarding philanthropist Sofi Mamo (co-organizers of HopeRise Gala)

The guest list boasts luminaries such as singer Maxwell, actor Miguel A Nunez Jr., music producer/songwriter Shea Taylor, Mayor Sepi Shyne of West Hollywood (presenting the philanthropy award), Victoria's Secret Model Grace Mahary, Grammy winner Jerry Bell, actress/producer Kathy Kolla, actress Jessica Ross, Zaina Ali (Miss Europe Global), actor Zachory Sweeney, and the illustrious Ralph Rieckermann, bassist of the rock band Scorpions, who will be donating his artwork for the auction. Invitations have also been extended to Michael O Harris of Death Row Records and Prince Mario Max de Schaumburg-Lippe, with more celebrity confirmations on the horizon.

Ralph Rieckermann , Scorpion Bassist

The runway will be graced by internationally acclaimed designer KiKi Wang, showcasing an array of Ethiopian fashion designs up for auction. Models for the fashion shows will be provided by the esteemed Raven Wilson of CIM Model Agency.

Mayor Sepi Shyne will take the stage to honor philanthropist Tigist Ferede, recognizing her unwavering commitment to humanitarian causes and entrepreneurial triumphs.

Guests can indulge in a culinary journey featuring authentic Ethiopian and Italian cuisine with sumptuous desserts. Heather Richmond will command the stage as the evening's emcee, while auctioneer Aristotle Karas will conduct the live auction.

Toni Garrn (co-organizer of HopeRise Gala)

The HopeRise Gala extends a warm invitation to art enthusiasts, fashion aficionados, philanthropists, and advocates to rally behind the Mekdela Global Foundation's noble mission. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities can be explored on the Mekdela Global Outreach Foundation website, promising an evening of unity, compassion, and substantial support for Ethiopian causes. This gala is poised to be an indelible mark on the social calendar, bringing together compassionate individuals in a celebration of generosity and goodwill.

About Mekdela Global Outreach Foundation:

Mekdela Global Outreach Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to bringing positive change to Ethiopia. Their initiatives include community empowerment, education improvement, healthcare promotion, and sustainable development.

Confirmed guest Alexandria Shipp


Dr. Azeb Bhutia

Founder, Mekdela Global Outreach Foundation

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Jessica Ross

Since August 2022, Jessica Ross has been a contributor at Heart of Hollywood Magazine. Recent work includes Hollywood Unexpected airing on the XOTV Network digitally and broadcast beginning April 21st and a starring role in the upcoming suspense thriller, Mr. Smith. Recently, she was a lead and co-producer in "Chasing Stars", a comedic-drama reality tv show pilot with an all female cast and crew.

Center Stage, Vegas Unlimited, Indie Activity, Action Magazine, Voyage LA, Cinderella of New York, Juwai, Bizbooast, Heart of Hollywood, JAMO Magazine, Entertainment Network Live, It Can By You, Livein Style Magazine, BuzzFeed and CBS are just a few of the media outlets she has been featured on.


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