What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

“Anne’s Night” Introduces Uryadi’s Village and Honors Anne Heyman

December 22, 2015 By: Editor Category: What's Happenin'

Anne Heyman

Anne Heyman

The second “Anne’s Night” event will be held on January 9, 2016, at Double H Farm in Wellington, FL, and it will honor equestrian and philanthropist Anne Heyman along with introducing the non-profit, Uryadi’s Village. The first “Anne’s Night” was a fantastic success and enabled a generous donation to Anne’s organization, the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village (ASYV). ASYV has taken in over 500 orphaned Rwandan children and provided them with food, shelter, nurturing, and education.

This year’s “Anne’s Night” will be a tented, “Safari Style” evening at the gorgeous Double H Farm featuring the sounds and entertainment of local African musicians and a special DJ set by Hannah Bronfman. There will be dinner served and guests can participate in a live auction offering one-of-a-kind experiences.

Cayce Harrison and Quentin Judge of Double H Farm brought Uryadi’s Village to the attention of “Anne’s Night” organizers Sally Slater and Steve Weiss. The idea of “Anne’s Night” has evolved, in that it will benefit a different charity annually, in addition to continuing to benefit all prior honorees. Everyone at “Anne’s Night” is excited to plan for this event for years to come and to promote long-term philanthropy.

“With the enthusiasm and resources of our community behind this annual event, the ripple effect will be enormous,” said Harrison.

Jennifer Crooks in Ethiopia credit Cathrin Cammett

Jennifer Crooks in Ethiopia
Photo credit Cathrin Cammett

Uryadi’s Village is a non-profit organization founded by equestrian Jennifer Crooks in June of 2014. The goal of Uryadi’s Village is to support multiple orphanages in rural Ethiopia to create self-sustainability within a three to five year period through viable agriculture and different entrepreneurial avenues for the women in the community. Orphans make up more than 5% of Ethiopia’s population; Uryadi’s Village is dedicated to the betterment of those children’s lives. The parallels between ASYV and Uryadi’s Village are evident, as both charitable organizations were founded by fellow equestrians who are passionate about saving children and providing a loving environment where their basic needs are met.

Crooks, who is the co-founder and executive director of Uryadi’s Village, explained, “Our family includes three children adopted from Ethiopia, and in the process of those adoptions, my eyes were opened to the reality of life in this diverse, beautiful, and challenging country. The reality is that Ethiopia is an amazing place, full of kind, loving, and hard-working people. The smiles on the faces of all the children that I could not adopt are what informed my heart about the larger issue, the one that I couldn’t fix because I cannot adopt every orphaned Ethiopian child. Those children, who smile and do their best to play, despite being malnourished and almost completely lacking in resources or hope for improvement if things do not change for them, were the spark that has led to the creation of Uryadi’s Village.”

The parallels between Uryadi’s Village and ASYV are apparent, Crooks said. “Anne started that orphanage 12 years ago, with goals similar to the ones Uryadi’s Village is working towards, and I can’t help but feel that if we had met, we would have been kindred spirits,” she expressed. “Anne was an incredible lady, and her mission was to keep the ball rolling, to pave the way for other non-profits. This is her legacy, and it is such an honor to be part of that. We share the vision of creating self-sustainability and empowerment for African orphans, as well as the philosophy on how to make that vision a reality. We are soul sisters who both want to share the kindness and good fortune of the horse world in a meaningful way with those less fortunate.”

For tickets, tables, and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Denise Maynard at 516-429-6318 or maynarddee@aol.com. Please “Like” the Anne’s Night Facebook page and visit www.AnnesNight.com to learn more!