By Erin Morioka
On Friday April 26th the Thunderbird Toastmasters Club will host its annual charity dinner in the Thunderbird Event Center (TEC) with proceeds benefiting Solar Sister. The theme of the dinner is Sustainopreneurship (Sustainable Entrepreneurship). Speakers will include Mr. Jay Rogers Jr., CEO and Co-founder of Local-Motors and Dr. Anatoli Korkin, Associate Research Professor at ASU and President of Nano & Giga Solutions, Ms. Regina Duran, Research Analyst at the Office of University Initiatives at ASU, and Ms. Talissa Huntsman, M.S. (’13) candidate at Thunderbird.
Solar Sister is an organization dedicated to eradicating energy poverty by providing women with access to greater economic opportunity. This is done through a women-centered direct sales network to bring solar technology to communities in rural Africa. Solar Sister currently works in three countries: Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan. In 2011, a team of Thunderbird students completed a TEM Lab in Uganda with Solar Sister, which was sponsored by the ExxonMobil Foundation.
This year’s charity dinner is coming off high momentum from last year’s dinner, which raised $23,340 for the Phoenix-based charity Food for the Hungry with the help of the USAID matching program. Food for the Hungry is a Christian humanitarian and relief organization that focuses on emergency relief and long-term efforts to end world hunger, and was chosen in line with the theme of “Food and Sustainability.”
So far, the dinner has been well supported by Thunderbird and outside organizations. Eight clubs have signed on to partner with Toastmasters to volunteer and donate to the dinner in addition to TSG. The school has generously donated 50% off vouchers for a Thunderbird Online Course and Thunderbird Executive Education Seminar. Local-Motors has donated a “CEO for the day” prize and Papa Murphy’s has also signed on as a sponsor.
Tickets for the dinner are still available for $10 and can be purchased through Paypal or the Toastmasters Leadership Team. The tickets include a meal catered by Buca di Beppo and Nothing Bundt Cakes and a raffle ticket for a chance to win various prizes. Please contact Tiffany Law (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have an interest in volunteering or would like more information.