Clinic Blooms As Communites Unite

David Sepulveda PhotoA spirit of giving and fellowship enveloped a crowd of supporters who came to Westville’s Lyric Hall Friday, with the common purpose of raising funds for a modest health clinic in Ejemekwuru, Imo State, Nigeria. The project, sponsored by New Haven’s MaryCare organization, brought together Hartford and Westville communities, who were greeted at Lyric Hall by the African drum rhythms of Aly Tatchol Camara. A slate of performers and entertainers followed, with attendees enjoying foods, desserts, and fine wines donated by Amity Wines in the floral bedecked reception area. 

Click here to read about the community effort, here for more background on MaryCare.

The Caribbean-American Dance Group of Hartford moved gracefully on the Hall’s main floor, close enough to touch audience members who had pressed back to make room for the dancers.

The evening was punctuated by the soulful saxophone sounds of Cleveland “Starr” Horton and local musicians Tim Kane, Chris Kristan, and David DiMario.  “Paula,” a singer who was a contestant on the popular TV program, “The Voice,” later brought the house down with her moving rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer.”

A silent auction of art, wines, goods and indigenous African-textiles seemed of interest to those gathered. But the main attraction was Fr. Emmanuel Ihemedu, whose hometown in Nigeria will serve as the setting for a new health clinic once constructed. 

Introduced by emcee Jack Paulishen, a teacher at Hillouse High School and a St. Aedan’s parishioner, Fr. Emmanuel spoke to the audience underscoring a message of how a single person can impact the lives of others: “Your blessing is only one person away from you” he said, recalling the words of a preacher he once heard.  Fr. Emmanuel has helped bring life-saving development to the people of Emejekwuru and regions of his native Nigeria, through the auspices of New Haven’s MaryCare organization and supportive communities throughout Connecticut.  

The Lyric Hall fundraiser was a packed event, engendering goodwill among those who attended, and hope for those who will have the healing benefits of a health clinic in their community of Ejemekwuru.  A clinic donation accompanied by a brief note read, “I wish to extend my support in a small way by providing the enclosed donation in support of my brothers and sisters overseas.  Let them know we care deeply here in America and will always reach out to support them in a better way of life in God’s plan.” To date, the Clinic Fund has reached approximately 50 percent of its $ 30,000 goal needed to build the clinic. Contributions to the Clinic fund can be made .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or directly to Marycare.

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posted by: Jack Paulishen on February 27, 2013  9:53am

Many thanks to John Cavaliere for donating his beautiful space for Friday’s fundraiser. He is a great guy who adds immeasurably to our community and now to the community of Ejemekwuru. John - Thanks for all you do!

posted by: Westville Kathy on February 27, 2013  2:00pm

Thank you for a fantastic evening and the wonderful write-up!