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Building Bridges, Transforming Lives: Africa-inspired gala at The Tech Museum of Innovation to support life-saving footbridges

Press Release Date 
Friday, October 12, 2012

SAN JOSE, CA September 24, 2012 – The Silicon Valley fast track will intersect with images of Africa’s dangerous river crossings during a gala at The Tech Museum of Innovation to raise support for the Bridging the Gap in Africa Foundation.

 “The Jack Aknin Memorial Bridge Gala” – or JAMB, which mirrors the Swahili word jambo meaning hello - will be an African-inspired gala that takes place Saturday, October 19, 2012.  Special guests include Harmon Parker, founder of Bridging the Gap and a 2010 Top Ten CNN Hero.

Flooding in Kenya will soon prohibit more than one thousand of the Olderkesi Maasia community from safely reaching the market to buy their basic staples. Every year, thousands of people lose their lives in Kenya and other parts of Africa crossing rivers where there are no bridges. Crossing rivers with no bridges forces people to face dangerous situations such as raging waters and wild animals such as hippopotamus and crocodiles. Bridges provide safe access to education, health care, food and families for marginalized communities in Sub-Sahara Africa. Bridging the Gap Africa saves about 600 lives every year by eliminating drowning and attacks by wild animals.

Funds from the gala will go toward Bridging the Gap Africa for the construction of a bridge in Kenya in honor of Aknin, a Silicon Valley luminary. He lost his battle with melanoma on April 27, 2011. Aknin was a supporter of BtGA, which builds suspended footbridges across the many rivers around the world, saving lives every day. Parker was a long-time friend of Aknin’s and was a Top Ten CNN Hero of 2010 for his work in building footbridges in Kenya, which bring hope and inspiration along to countless families.  

The themed event will feature African decor, foods prepared by the best local chefs, wine tasting, African cocktails, music, a silent auction, dancing, and exciting surprises.  

Sponsors for this event include: The Tech Museum of Innovation, Cuisine Style Pamela Keith, Cottar’s Safari Service, C & J Contracting, Inc., Alain Pinel Realtors, The Keffer Team, Del Grande Dealer Group.

Editor’s Note: Harmon Parker will be in the United States and available for media interviews from mid-October to mid-November. Please contact Rob Doughty for more details. 

Rob Doughty 
PR contact
Bridging the Gap
(305) 495-3311
Jae Cecillo
PR contact
Roqua Montez
Director, Public Relations
The Tech Museum
(408) 795-6225
About The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Tech—located in the Capital of Silicon Valley —is a non-profit learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge presented by Cisco, our annual team-design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials,The Tech Museum endeavors to inspire the innovator in everyone.