Nearly 200 guests are expected to attend Village KC third annual ”Friends of The Village Gala” on Sat., Dec. 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Delta Athenaeum, 900 E. Linwood Blvd, KCMO.

The celebration and winter fundraiser will offer a review of work the nonprofit organization has done with its students and in the community during the year, said Di’Anna Saffold, founder and executive director of Village KC.

However,don’t expect to experience a traditional gala, because their Youth Advisory Board will host and run the celebration. 

Presentations will be made by students who attend their programs. 

Village KC photography and arts students will exhibit their artwork, and live entertainment, like spoken word, will also be performed by students.

The gala will also include a silent auction, featuring items provided by local businesses, a raffle basket and even a few KC Chiefs memorabilia items. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the nonprofit’s annual gift drive. 

Kansas City local DJ Baby Boi will be mixing up the music while guests engage in the “Mix and Mingle” networking period and enjoy a few complimentary drinks, included in the gala ticket price of $25 for youth (no alcoholic drinks), $35 for adults, and $60 per couple.  

Saffold created the program to help shape the youth lives while giving the opportunity and access to have an artistic outlet.

 “Growing up, I had a village of people who supported me and loved me, even though I had both parents in the home,” said Saffold.  “The idea of it all is to pull together all of our resources, whether it’s finances, or time to volunteer, or teaching a skill, and show that we support our youth.”  

Although Saffold wants the organization to grow, she also wants to intentionally create relationships with kids and their parents to shape their mission with their peers and network.

The Village KC has four pillars:

  1. Arts– the program offers visual, performance art and fine arts for creative youth.
  2. Fit– this program focuses on teen’s holistic health- mind, body, and soul, making sure they are active and well.
  3. Fyre– offers various recreational activities that are fun to engage and learn from like gaming tournaments.
  4. Future– this program lets the youth explore college and career options and even offer volunteer opportunities and Black business job shadowing. 

“Village KC is like a ministry for me. It is definitely something that’s in my heart to do and it’s been a blessing to have so many people in the community lean in and support what we do,” she said.

Simone Garza was a reporter in our Kansas City office. In addition to general reporting on Kansas City’s African-American community, she reports on economic inclusion for the African American community....