Tickets Available at the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce

by Loni Rahm

Sometimes the smallest choice can put you directly on the path to the largest impact.


Dr. Amy Ellingson of Chelan was at a conference in Seattle. Back in her hotel room after a long day, she flicked through the tv channels trying to find something to fall asleep to. Landing on the documentary “A Closer Walk” changed her life. And as it turns out, that small choice is helping change hundreds of tiny lives on the other side of the world.

The documentary showcases the HIV/AIDS epidemic throughout the world,

“Sometimes you see an issue that seems insurmountable,” said Ellingson. “I was so inspired by this story, and immediately was inspired to do something to help.”

That something started with research into Touching Tiny Lives Foundation, an organization focused on saving lives, one child at a time, in Lesotho, a small country in southern Africa, where 30% of the population is HIV positive, and a high percentage of babies in Lesotho are born exposed to HIV/AIDS.

Often orphaned at an early age, the children also face extreme malnutrition and are unable to fight against tuberculosis, measles and other infectious health issues. Ellingson initially visited Lesotho to meet with people from TTL who operate a safe house with placement for infants through 5 years old.

Then Ellingson, along with other community members, started Chelan to Africa, a grassroots organization focused on improving the health and education of vulnerable children both here in Chelan and halfway across the world in rural Lesotho.

“We held a small benefit concert and auction at first,” says Ellingson. “It kept growing, and is now approaching its 11th year.”

The event is held annually the first Saturday in August at Benson Estate Winery. “We couldn’t do this event without the Benson family and their beautiful winery,” said Ellingson. She also praised the Kevin Jones Band, who has been part of the event from the beginning. “They (the band) were so receptive to the story of these kids and the huge impact we can have, they jumped in.”

The Chelan to Africa benefit will be held this year on Saturday, August 4th, 2018 at Benson Vineyards Estate Winery. Doors open at 5:30, and live music with the Kevin Jones Band begins at 7:00. Tickets are $30 and include small plates, and can be purchased at the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce. The fundraiser benefits Touching Tiny Lives as a global recipient, and Thrive Chelan Valley as a local recipient.

About Touching Tiny Lives Foundation:

TTL is the only organization exclusively dedicated to caring for orphaned and vulnerable children in the rural, mountainous districts of Lesotho, Africa. We support children affected by HIV/AIDS and ensure our clients are able to grow, develop and thrive.

About Thrive Chelan Valley

Thrive Chelan Valley exists to raise awareness, advocate, and empower the community to provide programs and services that meet the needs of Lake Chelan Valley youth.