Hope North Announces Forest Whitaker As Honoree Of Its NYC Gala On Saturday, Nov. 1

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Mary-Louise Parker Will Host Benefit For Ugandan School Offering Hope, Healing

Okello Sam and Forest Whitaker – who met on the set of "The Last King Of Scotland" – practice on Ngoma drums in Uganda this summer. Whitaker is the honoree at Hope North's gala in NYC on Nov. 1.

Okello Sam and Forest Whitaker – who met on the set of "The Last King Of Scotland" – practice on Ngoma drums in Uganda this summer. Whitaker is the honoree at Hope North's gala in NYC on Nov. 1.

Founded in 1998, Hope North is an accredited secondary school in impoverished northern Uganda with a dual mission: Educating at-risk youth striving in the aftermath of civil war while empowering them to become voices for peace and development.

WHAT:

2014 Gala benefiting Hope North - http://www.hopenorth.org. The lively night includes drinks, dinner, dancing and features Ugandan music and performances, celebrity stage cameos, and a live/online auction. Items will include handcrafted musical instruments and original artwork created by Hope North students.

WHO:

  • Forest Whitaker, Gala Honoree.
  • Mary-Louise Parker, Gala Host.
  • Sahr, Gala Performer. (Vocalist-star of Broadway’s “Fela!”, Sahr is frontman of FELA aKUsTIc.)
  • Okello Kelo Sam, Hope North Founder. Bio here.
  • Host Committee: Alec Baldwin, Amanda Fuller, Bette Midler, Eva Amurri Martino, Hunter Parrish, Jeffrey Wright, Keisha Nash Whitaker, Malaak Compton-Rock, Megan Boone, Serinda Swan and Yoko Ono.    

ABOUT:

Founded in 1998, Hope North is an accredited secondary school in impoverished northern Uganda with a dual mission: Educating at-risk youth striving in the aftermath of civil war while empowering them to become voices for peace and development. The 40-acre school has a reputed arts center, vocational training, athletics, library, internet café, health clinic, student housing and a working farm, staffed by 26 dedicated educators. In 16 years, more than 3,000 at-risk youth have attended Hope North; its current enrollment is 328.

WHY:

Hope North Founder Okello Kelo Sam is a former child soldier of Uganda’s civil war abducted into a rebel army at age 16. He escaped, earned a college degree in performing arts, married, had a child – and started Hope North. Okello also became a musician, dancer and choreographer, joining the reputed Ndere Troupe in Kampala. In 2006 he landed an instructing-performing role in the “The Last King Of Scotland”, becoming fast friends with the film’s star Forest Whitaker. Forest has since been an active supporter of and frequent visitor to Hope North.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014.

WHERE: City Winery, 155 Varick St. (@Vandam), NYC 10013.

TICKETS: $100 to $500 - http://www.hopenorthgala.org.

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