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Kickin’ it to Kenya, Connecting it in Holliston

by Nichole Dickinson
September 17, 2018

On Friday, September 7th, 150 plus fun-loving, supportive, generous adults celebrated at Anthony’s on the Green in honor of the mission and dedication of five Holliston families traveling to Kenya over February 2019 school vacation

On Friday, September 7th, 150 plus fun-loving, supportive, generous adults celebrated at Anthony’s on the Green in honor of the mission and dedication of five Holliston families traveling to Kenya over February 2019 school vacation. The purpose of this trip is to build a soccer field and run soccer clinics for the children in the village. These families will travel 7,202 miles to participate in a cultural exchange united by the universal language and love of soccer.

Not only does this mission connect Holliston with a Maasai village in Merreushi, Kenya, but it also connects people in and around Holliston with a powerful message to the community. For this group, it is all about supporting the sincere interest and passion shared between the children participating in this trip: learning about a new culture while simultaneously sharing theirs. For the parents, the time and effort spent raising the funds will be fully realized when they see their children play side by side with the children of the village on the field they built together. The goal at the end of this journey is to create a community that believes in the unity of mankind through our fundamental feeling of joy, gratitude, and friendship.

Here is a snapshot of the connections created through the event at Anthony’s:

When attendees arrived they were given a pin to map their country of origin. Checkout the places people are from!

Holliston resident, DJ and musician Ricardo Barraza generously donated his time and talent to the 7202 group. He and Nichole were introduced and when Nichole explained their mission Ricardo without hesitation unconditionally volunteered himself to their cause at 100% pro bono. He kept the party moving all night on the dance floor and dedicated a special performance of “Home” by Philip Philips to the group. Amazing does not adequately capture his giving heart and talent. Ricardo can be booked for entertainment at events by visiting his website at www.ricardobarrazamusic.com.

Guests were encouraged to wear a bit of their heritage as part of a contest. Here’s a snap of British Andrew Trickey and his German mate Steve Reffel. Well done fellas!

Andrew Trickey raising a glass while “on duty” (he dressed up as a British police for the party!) with 7202 traveler and party hostess-with-the-mostest, Traci Robie! Cheers!

Generous donations were made to the event by many of the local businesses in Holliston. The Wine House donated enough wine to make for a competitive evening of tossing a ring to win a wonderful bottle of wine. Many businesses gave gift cards to the event’s grab-and-go gift card wall.

A highlight of the night was the performance by Senegalese drummers and dancers who traveled to Holliston from Watertown. The group performed Senegalese scores, dancing and getting the crowd to clap and feel the beats! Lead drummer, Lamine, is also a professor of African drumming at MIT. 7202 traveler Kim Collins was connected to this group by her connection to PMT Dance Studio in NYC. See the amazing connections??

Ricardo Barraza and Steve Reffel reconnected since their marathon run some years ago to support the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpk_zG6ZsT0

The crowd heard from the kids in their words why this trip is so important to them and our community – and now you can, too!

Only at a 21+ party would it be really funny to peddle 2 of the group’s 7202 soccer balls and sell them to the crowd! The 7202 balls are now for sale at Fiske’s. Get one or a pair to support 7202! Only $15/ball  and all proceeds will go toward the resources needed to build the soccer field in Kenya.

SMILES – loads of smiles all night long!

Friends from cheering their kids on the sidelines at sporting events, friends from other town connections, and friends who became such through meeting at this event – the energy of connecting to celebrate was palpable!

From all of the families who dedicated their summer to planning this event and the one the following day at Marshall Street, it was worth all of our energy to bring out such an amazing group of people for a night of love, laughter, and dancing. Thank you to everyone for your generosity. We cannot wait to come back and share our experience with you!

Missed the event, but you would like to support 7202 Holliston to Kenya? You can donate at our GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/holliston-to-kenya-7202, or you can mail a check made out to our non-profit group alliance, Crooked Trails, and mail your donation to Kim Collins, 35 Church St, Holliston, MA 01746.

 

Friday night at Anthony's on the Green was the "kick off" party for the 7202 fund raising campaign. Above, left to right, Alex Iannitelli, Greg Noorjanian, Melanie Burns, Kim Collins, Melanie Laughlin.

We want to thank Alex Stulac from ICW Productions for producing the video of the kids 100% pro bono, too. He developed the interview questions, filmed and did all of the post-production himself for us. His business can be referenced at: https://icwproductions.com/

 

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