Garrison Keillor, author and creator of the Prairie Home Companion, will be performing “An Evening for Africa,” Friday, September 23 at the State Theater in Eau Claire, Wis.

Garrison Keillor to appear in An Evening for Africa, Sept. 23 at State Theater in Eau Claire, WI
Garrison Keillor to appear in An Evening for Africa, Sept. 23 at State Theater in Eau Claire, WI

The performance begins at 7:30 pm, and is a fundraiser to continue the charitable work begun in Uganda by Keillor’s cousin and former Menomonie resident Alec Johnson.

The performance is being sponsored by Transforming Individual Lives Today, Inc. (TILT), a Vermont based 501c3 nonprofit with whom Alec worked to support the people of Uganda.

Alec died in 2014 from an accidental drowning, but his family and friends are carrying on his work, which focused on breaking the poverty cycle for the people of Uganda. “During his life, Alec was committed to building community wherever he lived, and to providing support to the lonely and impoverished, especially orphaned and needy children,” said his father and Menomonie physician Dr. Dan Johnson.

Alec worked with Uganda-based charity, St. Augustine Community Love Program, founded by a local Ugandan, Anywarach Joshua Carter, now a member of the Uganda parliament. He set up scholarships for children. He devised a micro-banking program, providing hundreds of local women with seed money to start or expand cottage industries. He also worked with an African group, Farming God’s Way, which teaches farming techniques that enrich soil, protect crops and increase yields.

Money raised for the “An Evening for Africa” fundraiser on Sept. 23 will go towards:
• Educating students. $70,000 is being raised to provide education for students in the Nebbi District of northwestern Uganda.
• Micro-banking. $10,000. Through this program, women purchase a membership in a group of women who pool their money to start or invest in small cottage businesses. With additional seed money, more groups can be formed.
• Sustainable agriculture. $20,000 to expand training in techniques that enrich the soil and crops, and to add new wells.

Tickets to “An Evening for Africa” are $60. Premium tickets at $150 include a reception before the program and an opportunity to meet Mr. Keillor. Tickets are available here.

For more information about Alec’s work in Uganda or to make a donation online, go to TILT’S website.

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