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Sycamore 'Jazz in the Night' to support education for Kenyan girls

Mardra and Reggie Thomas will perform at “Jazz in the Night,” a fundraiser for Friends of Jane Adeny Memorial School on Feb. 16 at Blumen Gardens in Sycamore.
Mardra and Reggie Thomas will perform at “Jazz in the Night,” a fundraiser for Friends of Jane Adeny Memorial School on Feb. 16 at Blumen Gardens in Sycamore.

Friends of Jane Adeny Memorial School for Girls will hold its third annual wine, cheese and chocolate fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 16, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Blumen Gardens, 403 Edward St. in Sycamore.

The theme this year is “Jazz in the Night.” Jazz vocalist Mardra Thomas, accompanied by pianist Reggie Thomas, will present an intimate and energetic program celebrating the women of jazz. Mardra and Reggie have performed across the country and internationally on concert, jazz club and world-class festival stages.

Certified wine specialist John McIntyre from Hy-Vee will lead guests in tasting wines exquisitely paired with scrumptious cheeses and chocolates. A fair-trade crafts market, raffle prizes, and cash wine bar are included in the evening.

Jane Adeny Memorial School for Girls (JAMS) provides a high school education to poor and orphaned girls in rural western Kenya, Africa. The school was founded by Kenyans who now live in DeKalb and return to Kenya every year to give back to their original community. The founders, Teresa Wasonga and Andrew Otieno, are Presidential Engagement Professors at Northern Illinois University. Friends of JAMS is a DeKalb area nonprofit organization with the mission of raising awareness, friends and funds for JAMS.

All proceeds of Jazz in the Night will go toward scholarships for needy girls and the construction and furnishing of a Resource Center and Computer Lab. Currently, JAMS has 10 computers for 160 students. Friends of JAMS aims to provide a computer lab with 40 computers as well as an expanded library for the school. Last year’s fundraiser supported scholarships, entrepreneurship projects run by the students, and the completion of a science classroom building.

Tickets cost $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at www.dekalbcountytickets.com or call the DeKalb County Tickets Box Office at 815-758-1225. Box office hours are Tuesdays 2 to 6 p.m. and Thursdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or leave a message.

For more information, visit JAMSKenya.org.

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