Themed dinner to help fund education for African youth

DBHS UNICEF and Key Club host a charity gala to build libraries to benefit children in Zambia.


Photo courtesy of Cathy Yan

Senior Kyle Lew introduces biology teacher Eric Sorensen for a freestyle rap.

For its fifth annual charity gala, Diamond Bar High School’s UNICEF collaborated with Key Club to present “A Winter Walk,” a joint effort to raise funds for educational opportunity in southern Africa.

“When I was first planning it, I was super scared and super nervous because it’s Key Club’s first year, but it definitely helped working through the process with UNICEF and having them being really helpful the whole time,” senior Key Club president Wesley Lu said.

After partnering with Interact, another service club, last year to raise funds for the organization Water for Mali, UNICEF worked with Key Club this year to raise money for Lubuto Library Partners. This organization is dedicated to providing more accessible learning resources to poverty-stricken countries in Africa, focusing on Zambia.

“At the end of the day, not only are you benefiting from having fun, but you are also doing good because all profits are being donated to Lubuto Library Partners,” senior UNICEF co-president Megan Young said.

The gala was held Friday evening at the Rowland Heights Community Center.

Activities at the gala included a calligraphy station run by junior Annika Lee and sophomore Megan Lee; a photo booth managed by UNICEF adviser Johnny Hwang and senior Andy Tsai; and a hot cocoa station run by juniors Gloria Choi, Debbie Yim and Katherine Chang.

Attendees who completed all of the activities and filled out their stamp cards were entered into a mini raffle for the opportunity to win a Target gift card or a Key Club windbreaker.

The main entertainment of the night included performances that ranged from a lyrical dance piece put together by senior Katherine Tran, junior Melody Rong and sophomore Emily Imamura to a freestyle rap delivered by biology teacher Eric Sorenson.

Another performance at the event was presented by a quartet of juniors with Christopher Lin as the vocalist, Matthew Chen on the piano, Zachary Kuo playing drums and Curtis Chang on the clarinet. They covered “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra, “Mine” by Bazzi and “Closer” by the Chainsmokers, incorporating humor, skits and improvisation.

“What Key Club and UNICEF are really proud of is [the event is] 100 percent student-led and 100 percent student-run, so we are coming up with most of the ideas and doing most of the work,” senior UNICEF co-president Austin Hyun said.

The people who attended the gala were also met with an Italian-style dinner consisting of lemon basil pasta, garlic bread and mashed potatoes. With about 150 attendees at the gala, the UNICEF and Key club presidents expressed hopes of raising at least $3000.

“Overall I think the gala was a success,” Lu said. “I was happily surprised by the immense support of fellow clubs, friends and community in making this event possible. It took a lot of work on the part of every officer, but the outcome was definitely worth it.”