Scholars Still in Need of a Sponsor
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Did you know that the 2018-2019 school year already began in Ecuador this month? We're excited to have started another year of learning and growth! We have 15 wonderful scholars who still need sponsors to help them meet their educational needs. Consider sponsoring one--or more--scholars! We're also in need of volunteers to serve as pen pals for some of our scholars.

To learn more about our Sponsor-a-Scholar program, click here.

Beth Awalt
2018 Benefit Dinner = SUCCESS!
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Our fifth annual benefit dinner and silent auction, "An Evening for the Stars," took place in Baltimore on April 28. It was a success! We thought last year that it was the biggest and best yet--but (to our delight) we were wrong. This year's "An Evening for the Stars" was even bigger and better!

Some new features this year included the following:

  • A new venue!
  • Highlighting our sponsors in an eco-friendly manner with an electronic program
  • A new photo booth backdrop customized with the Starfish logo
  • Implanting our presence in the 21st century with a Snapchat filter

Meanwhile, this is how much "An Evening for the Stars" accomplished to garner support for our programming in Guayaquil, Ecuador:

  • Over $110,000 was raised from sponsorships, program ads, ticket sales, and silent auction proceeds. This is a 35% increase from last year!
  • We had 218 dinner attendees. It's an all-time record, and well over last year's tally of 150!
  • Over 170 silent auction items were sold in person and online. This is 13% more than last year!

Did you enjoy "An Evening for the Stars" so much that you're eagerly awaiting next year? Did you miss the benefit dinner, and want to make sure you can join us next year? Don't fear! We already have a date for you to mark on your calendars. Furthermore, this magical evening will return to the same location--we enjoyed it so much this year!

Saturday, April 27, 2019
6:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Red Lion Hotel North Baltimore
2004 Greenspring Drive
Timonium, Maryland 21093

Beth Awalt
Annual Friends of Starfish Ecuador Trip
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2018 FRIENDS OF STARFISH ECUADOR TRIP

May 14 - 20, 2018

The Starfish Foundation takes a trip each year with a dedicated group of volunteers to our location in Guayaquil, Ecuador! Volunteers are able to help out with our students and get to learn more about our foundation through a hands-on approach.

WHAT WE'LL BE DOING:

We will spend most of our days at the Starfish Foundation in Flor de Bastión, Guayaquil. While there, trip participants can help with tutoring, interact with students, learn about Starfish programs, and work on small service projects. If you have a skill you would like to share with the students, please let us know!  In the past, we have had yoga lessons and English lessons. These days will also include a group lunch with Starfish families and visits to their homes.


We will have the opportunity to sightsee and explore Guayaquil. Some highlights include a visit to the local artisan market, lunch along the "Malecon" (boardwalk in Guayaquil), and a long climb up "Las Peñas" for a beautiful view of the city.

COST: 

The total trip cost is $550. This includes your meals, accommodations, transportation within Ecuador, and group activities in Guayaquil. Please note you are responsible for the cost of your flights to and from Ecuador, vaccinations, and spending money. In the past, trip participants have spent very little once in Ecuador, as all meal expenses and group activities are included in the trip cost.

A deposit of $100 is due by March 15 in order to secure your spot. Your final payment must be made by April 15. Payments can be made by check to The Starfish Foundation, Inc. (in the memo, indicate "Friends of Starfish Trip") and mailed to 1133 Dulaney Gate Circle, Cockeysville, MD 21030. 

If you are in need of financial assistance to attend the trip, please contact us at ecuavol@thestarfishchange.org. There are a limited number of scholarships available to help offset the cost of travel to and from Ecuador. Awards will be given out based on need and prior involvement with the foundation.

FLIGHTS:

Trip participants are responsible for booking their own flights. In order to facilitate transportation to the hotel, contact Starfish to receive information about the better flights to book from and to Miami.

If you need logistical assistance planning your flight schedule, please do not hesitate to ask. Please forward your flight itinerary to ecuavol@thestarfishchange.org once it is booked. Flight itineraries are due by April 15.

OTHER:

For any questions, please email Ecuador Volunteer Manager Erica Anderson at ecuavol@thestarfishchange.org

Beth Awalt
2016-2017 Annual Report
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To our Starfish family and friends,

As we look back on our fifth year, it is with joyful hearts that we give thanks to you, and it is with excitement that we look forward. With your support, we have served more than 300 students over the past five years, and The Starfish Foundation, Inc., has grown into a vital part of the community in which we serve. When we started Starfish five years ago, we thought it might work for a few months, a year, or - at most - five years. How wrong we were! Our future looks bright as we continue to work with an amazing group of supporters, volunteers, staff and students. In our fifth year, our growth and team achievements continue, thanks to you, our Starfish family. We are excited for our next five years and beyond!

This year we celebrated educational achievements of our students and new organizational milestones, such as becoming a recognized non-profit organization in Ecuador. We improved our quality of programming with an expanded library, new psychological services and a focus on curriculum. Most importantly, we continued to work in close collaboration with an amazing team of youth in Ecuador. You will learn about some of our remarkable students and volunteers in our annual report, including Ruddy who coordinated a Christmas party for 250 young children and Anna who used her teaching acumen to assist with curriculum development.

None of this could have been possible without your constant support.

From the bottom of our hearts, gracias for helping our students' dreams come true.

Amor y Paz, Jenn and Beth 

Read the annual report.

Beth Awalt
An Evening for the Stars
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Save the date! The 2018 "Evening for the Stars" Starfish Benefit Dinner in Baltimore will take place on Saturday, April 21st! Tickets are now available.

It's an evening of fun for a cause! This benefit dinner is one of the highlights of our year and helps The Starfish Foundation provide education support and leadership development to Ecuadorian high school students living in extreme poverty. 

To learn more or to RSVP, click here.

Beth Awalt