Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association celebrated its 7th anniversary on June 19, 2010 in Seattle, WA. It was very successful event and unique in nature than any other events we had in the past. For those our members who missed this year’s reunion, you missed a lot. I warned you in advance not to miss the event because I knew from the beginning that it was going to be unique. Here is how this year’s reunion was unique.
Let me start with the annual meeting that was held in the hall of Tigray Community Association on Saturday morning. Many members participated in the meeting including new faces such as memhir Birhane Gebreab, Dr. Getachew Assefa, and many other people from the Seattle area. Off course, the usual faces of our members from different parts of the United States were also presented in the meeting.
The 7th annual meeting started with updates of information about the Association followed by the annual report. Then we got into the agenda of the day. We did not have that much agenda to discuss except for one. However, that one agenda was very important agenda. The agenda was to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having the word “Alumni” in the name of our Association. Our members spoke up during the discussion saying that our Association is doing a great job. But they believe the Association can do even better if we take off the word “Alumni” from the name of our Association and replace it with another word that is more inclusive of all people without losing our focus on education. The Board was ready to listen to its members and accepted the members request without any hesitation. The board then announced that our next reunion will take place on July 16, 2011 in Atlanta, GA. Finally, the meeting was concluded with Dr. Getachew’s educational presentation.
The 2nd part of our event took place during the night time of June 19, 2010. The night event started with a moment of silent to remember the five lives tragically lost in Seattle by the sudden fire accident and the lost of our Association’s member, Ato Negash, in Denver, CO. Then Ato Hadush Zahlay from the Tigray community of Seattle spoke to the guests of the event followed by ASAA President Abraha Weldegebriel. After the brief speeches, the danced floor was opened with the sensational song of “Hura Seleste” by artist Atsbha Hailu. Weizerazir Awlaelo came to the dance floor looking like a meskel flower. For the surprise of everybody, all of them had worn the same color of traditional clothes with the words of “Kilte-Awlaelo” (in Tigrinya) visibly printed on their clothes.
Our 2nd surprise was the presence of artist Brhane Haile. Brhane Haile showed up on our event without our expectation and sang his popular songs free of charge to Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association. By the way, artist Abebe Araya did the same thing last year when we celebrated our 6th anniversary in Washington, DC. After Brhane’s song Tadesse Abraha (wedi Kokob) took the stage and entertained us all night long. Off course, Atsbha Hailu was also back to the stage. Yayane Abay and Mulu Hailu were also played their instruments professionally and added sensation to the songs.
An auction of Tihlo, Cultural Dress, and Framed Photo of Kiros Alemayoh was successfully auctioned by very talented tigrian brother Ato Bitewln. Dr. Getachew Assefa also presented very educational presentation as a guest of speaker of the night. Saturday night’s event concluded successfully but the fun continued to Sunday.
Sunday’s activities started with barbecue in the hall of Tigray community Association of Seattle. Then we proceeded to the cruise tour that took four hours of the evening to the night of Sunday the 20th of June 2010. The cruise was full of fun. DJ Beyene entertained us all night long with best Tigrnya, Amharic, and English songs. We had eaten lots of healthy sub sandwiches that were all paid by one generous person of Awlaelona. Sunday’s activities were ended by going back to the Tigray Community Center for dinner that was prepared by the wehalalus of Awlaelona. Some of us also met on Monday for lunch at W/ro Fantaye’s house and for dinner on Ato Abdelrahim’s home.
The surprise of Seattle never ended. We learned that the Awlaelo Schools Alumni Association members of Seattle/Portland covered all the expenses of the Association out of their own pockets. Each member contributed $600.00 towards covering the expense of the event. This has never been done in the past and I do not know if it will be done in the future. They are just unique people with full of surprises.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I do not think I will be able to list all the fun and activities we had in Seattle but I shortly like to say thank you Seattle in general. I know there are many people I like to thank by name but I am afraid that I might forget somebody and cause disappointment. So for that reason, I thank you all Seattle brothers and sisters for your hard work, dedication, generosity, and hospitality.
I hope to see you all next year on July 16, 2011 in Atlanta, GA.