Haute Event: FACE Africa Hosts 2nd Annual Clean Water Gala

Former NBA player and honoree Dikembe Mutombo, FACE Africa founder Saran Kaba Jones, and Antoine Jones. Kaba Jones’s beautiful gown was designed by Haitian-born but Boston-based designer Prajje Jean-Baptiste.

On Saturday, March 26, FACE Africa hosted the annual gala: A Clean Water Benefit at the Taj Boston. The charity organization, founded by Saran Kaba Jones and based out of Cambridge is now in its second year. FACE Africa raises funds to bring clean and safe water to communities in Liberia and provide more opportunities to Liberian women. Worldwide, unsafe drinking water causes more than two million deaths each year, and is fatal for up to one in five Liberians. This year’s gala benefitted ten Liberian schools.

Special guest Whitney Port, speaker and honoree. Port and her family visited Liberia and donated $1,000 in merchandise from her fashion line to the night’s silent auction.

The festivities consisted of an elite champagne reception, hosted bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and a three-course dinner. Special guests former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo, fashion designer/MTV actress Whitney Port, and Victoria’s Secret supermodel Oluchi Orlandi. Other notable attendees were Tennessee Titan Rennie Curran, who tweeted about the “awesome” and “inspiring” time he had in Boston;  former Liberian ambassador to the U.S. M. Nathaniel Barnes; and Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson.

Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, awarded the FACE Africa Humanitarian Award for his work with UNICEF (and recent Guest Chef of the White House under the Obama administration), and his wife, model Maya Samuelsson.

Generous sponsors of the event included De Beers, Gilt City, Thomas Pink of London, Taj Hotels, Resorts, and Palaces, Starbucks, and Cynthia Rowley. Silent auction items included designer clothing, African art, jewelry, and designer handbags, like the Dior one pictured below.

Lady Dior Handbag, silent auction item. (Available at Saks Fifth Avenue, $2,700.00).

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