Mar 31 2012

Lantern Projects Fundraising Gala on May 6

 Organized by Former Piedmont School Superintendent-


Gail Uilkema handing a check to Hannah Odjenma-Botchway, supervisor of the Child Survival and Empowerment Project in Accra, Ghana. 

What do passionate public school superintendents do when they retire?  Do they remain committed to public service?  Travel to far-flung lands?  Or build on their network of colleagues and friends to make change happen?  Welcome to retired superintendent, Gail Uilkema’s new career where she juggles all three endeavors while overseeing Lantern Projects, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which donates 100% of its funding to selected projects.

Piedmont’s former Superintendent, Dr. Gail Uilkema, founded Lantern Projects in 2003 to raise funds for small projects around the world.  Operating solely by volunteers and donations, funded projects have included providing new baby kits in India, outfitting personnel with safety visors for land mine removal in Kosovo, supporting a literacy program in Oakland, and delivering sewing machines in Kabul to widowed mothers.  Lantern Projects works closely with international schools, service organizations, such as Rotary, and diverse nonpartisan groups to identify key public health, educational and safety projects to support.  Lantern has also provided disaster relief funds to communities around the globe.  Every dollar a donor gives goes toward a project of his or her choice.

Lantern’s current special project is dedicated to providing 100 water wells to Cambodian villages.  The wells are for poor families displaced during the Pol Pot regime.  Once built, the wells will reduce the need to bear water long distances — water that is often contaminated with E-coli and other diseases.  A hand-pump well costs $220 and will provide families accessible, clean water – a luxury many have not benefited from in decades, if ever.

To realize this dream, Lantern Projects is holding a Silent and Live Auction and Dinner Gala on Sunday, May 6th from 5 – 8:30 PM at the Sequoyah Country Club, in the Oakland Hills. The Asian-inspired dinner and auction will feature Cambodian dancers and an opportunity to bid on a host of items, including travel and hotel stay in New York, time at vacation homes, sailing on the Bay, golf packages, fine wines, jewelry and art.  Additionally, it’s an opportunity to participate with our talented and passionate neighbors running Lantern Projects, and help them assist communities in moving beyond mere subsistence levels to places where families can prosper.

Tickets to the Dinner and Silent Auction are $95.00 and can be purchased at, click reservations.  Sponsorships begin at $220 (2 tickets, ½ page ad in program and one water well) – visit the link for more details.  Auction items may be bid on in advance at the same link,, and click auction.  Auction items are most welcome and still accepted.  Explore all the work at Lantern Projects at  For more information, call 510-918-2820.

Lantern Projects: Bringing the Light of Hope to Others.


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