I always love fall in Cincinnati. With so much to do, the social season is abuzz with gallery openings, parties, the symphony, fashion shows, and more. The city really does come alive in the weeks just before the start of the holiday season.
In the middle of all the excitement and a full social schedule, there is one event that I look forward to more than any other, and that’s Cooperative for Education’s Fall Fiesta. It truly is one of the most rewarding nights of fall–because this charity’s work is not only noble, it’s unique.
Cooperative for Education (CoEd) is a textbook, computer, and scholarship cooperative that devotes time and energy to improving the lives of Guatemalan children and students, specifically those of Mayan heritage. In Guatemala, Mayan children are some of the poorest and most at-risk, often living in small villages high in the mountains and far away from the city.
Founded in 1996 by two brothers from Cincinnati, CoEd has changed the future for thousands of students, and is now one of the leading NGO’s devoted to education in that country. It truly is a testament to what can be done when someone dreams big and dares to find a solution to a problem many people wouldn’t dare try to fix. I traveled with founders Jeff and Joe Berninger in August 2011, and it changed my life. The week I spent with them in Guatemala is something I still think about to this day.
Every year, Fall Fiesta celebrates the triumphs of this organization, and endows the future for this growing charity. Every year this event grows, and 2013’s event will be the largest Fall Fiesta yet. In fact, I can think of many reasons why someone should attend this year’s Fall Fiesta, but I’m going to focus on four big ones here.
1. Party at Paul Brown Stadium: Fall Fiesta has moved locations, and this year will be held at Paul Brown Stadium, right in the middle of football season. From 6-11PM on October 12, a $75 ($90 after October 1) ticket gets you an open bar, heavy appetizers, and more from the event space right inside the stadium. This will be even more fun than normal since this is the year the Bengals will win the Super Bowl. Right?
2. Shop for the holidays at the party: Silent and live auction items for this American Mortgage Service Company-sponsored event total over $60,000 which means there is something for almost everyone to bid on–and many of these items would make great gifts for the upcoming holiday season. The Live Auction also includes a few marquee experiences, like grandstand tickets to the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, a trip to San Francisco, and a one-of-a-kind experience with the Cincinnati Bengals.
3. Get fashionable and rock a bow tie: CoEd just recently collaborated with Dhani Jones and his charity, BowTie Cause. Jones designed a bow tie just for CoEd this year, and it will be on sale for $57 at Fall Fiesta. It will surely be the most fashionable accessory in Cincinnati this fall, and rumor has it that Mr. Jones himself may be in attendance at Fall Fiesta, wearing one himself.
4. Meet Ancelma Ortiz: She’s one of the awesome students who directly benefited from the help of CoEd, and she’s coming all the way from Guatemala to be at this event. She was the first person in her family to graduate high school, and she’s now fluent in English and holds a professional job at a telecom company. Alcema will be at Fall Fiesta to share more about how CoEd’s programs have affected and altered her life for the better. Her story is unforgettable.
Don’t miss the fun! Get more information and purchase your tickets to Fall Fiesta at: www.cooperativeforeducation.org/fiesta. Hope to see you on October 12th!