If the Boniuk Center were a tree, our youth outreach programs would
yield some of our fruits, and the generous donations that fund them
would serve as our roots. All that charitable giving to nourish
our roots beneath the surface may not be equally obvious to
the eye. But without it, our yield would be barren.
This newsletter highlights one of our fruits programs, the Sacred
Sites Quest, and another of the primary ways we fund it:
through the roots tapped and provided by our Feast of Faiths gala.
I. The Sacred Sites Quest:
Our 24 SSQ students have been collaborating closely for more
than 4 months already, and have almost another month working
together to go. They have completed their Sacred Site visits to
more than a dozen places of worship in and around Houston.
They are now working for two months in the studios of the
Museum of Cultural Arts Houston (MOCAH) on converting
their learning into art.
On Saturday, March 3rd from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. at MOCAH (908 Wood St., Houston 77002), the students will unveil their murals at the SSQ’s closing celebration. This festive event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served, and the students will speak about both their collaborative quest experiences and the beautiful artwork that will endure at its permanent MOCAH installation site as their lasting creative legacy.
II. The Feast of Faiths Gala:
Our 2nd Feast of Faiths fundraising gala will begin at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17th at the Bayou City Event Center (9401 Knight Road, Houston 77045). The evening’s program will feature our participating students themselves and much of their inspiring work: from the SSQ to the Embracing Tolerance Essay Contest to some of the other youth outreach programs we offer. The menu will offer various cross-cultural culinary courses representing a range of religious traditions and regional cuisines.
This Feast of Faiths provides one of our primary fund-raising vehicles for the Boniuk Center. We offer most of our youth outreach educational programs at no cost to participating students. The few tuitions we do charge underwrite only a portion of our related expenses, and we offer generous scholarships to those who request them.
Otherwise, our operating budget is funded by three primary sources: our endowment, grants from foundations (like our perennial support from the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation), and philanthropic gifts from individual or corporate donors. Table and ticket sales for guests and underwriting sponsors of our Feast of Faiths are thus essential income sources for us.
We will soon be sending out printed invitations to our entire mailing list and posting similar gala registration information on our website. We warmly encourage you to join us and our students in celebrating their impressive achievements that night. Their efforts to promote religious tolerance among their peers and the world at large are truly inspiring and rewarding to see.
Upcoming newsletters will include more information about our Embracing Tolerance Essay Contest Awards Ceremony at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 22nd on campus at Rice.
Please see also the weblink below for registration and program information re: the upcoming IMGH 2012 “Love Thyself” Interfaith Women’s Retreat at Camp Allen from Friday, February 24th through Sunday, Feb. 26th.
Please also see this weblink for the flyer re: the upcoming Interfaith Unity Day at the Verizon Wireless Theatre on Sunday, February 26th.
Co-sponsored by the Muslim Council of USA and Harran Productions Foundation, the program will run from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Mike Pardee, Executive Director