Dougbe River School plans annual gala event
The Dougbe River Presbyterian School, a mission in Africa that was conceived of in Cleveland Heights, will hold its annual fundraising gala on Sunday, Oct. 27.
The school is the first ever in a remote region of the West African nation of Liberia, which is the birthplace of Isaac Monah, elder in the Noble Road Presbyterian Church. He left Twarbo Region in 1990, fleeing Liberia's civil war.
In 2007, shortly after returning from a visit to Liberia, Monah brought his idea for the school to the church's elders, where it was met with enthusiasm.
Working with other worship communities and individuals, the school opened in 2012. It now has about 160 students, boys and girls, from preschool through ninth grade. The school is open to all regardless of religious affiliation.
Monah serves as the school's executive director. Several members of the board live in Cleveland Heights or University Heights. All staff members are from West Africa, mostly Liberia, and it's an all-volunteer effort on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Current challenges for the school include building dormitories and continuing to develop the school farm, which is at the heart of a plan to make the school self-sustaining. Some of the food grown on the farm is used to feed students and staff, and some is sold to support the school.
This year's annual Dougbe River School gala will be held on Oct. 27, at the Banquet Center at St. Noel, 35200 Chardon Road, Willoughby Hills. The event begins at 5 p.m., and will feature news from the school and information about plans for its future, as well as food, drinks, a silent auction, and a wine pull.
Tickets are $55 per person, or $400 for a table of eight, and can be reserved with a check payable to Dougbe River School, mailed to Dougbe River School, P.O. Box 18017, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118; or by using PayPal at the school's website, www.drpsl.org.
John Luttermoser is a member of the board of the Dougbe River Presbyterian School.