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Opportunity International to Host a Celebration Commemorating 40 Years of Fighting Global Poverty through Microfinance

The event will honor “Arizona Champions” for Opportunity International including Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, and Timothy and Rhonda Snider; ASU graduate Kelly Flanagan to present her short film on Opportunity’s work in Tanzania

Scottsdale, Ariz., Nov. 29, 2011 – Since 1971, global nonprofit Opportunity International has been providing access to financial tools for those living in poverty around the globe. On Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, the Arizona Board of Governors for Opportunity International will host its “Festive Holiday Fête: Commemorating 40 Years of Client Impact and Transformation.”

“Opportunity International is proud to celebrate our 40th year of working alongside our clients, staff and supporters to fight global poverty,” said Jon Yasuda, SVP of resource development and interim CEO, Opportunity International. “As one of the early pioneers in microfinance, we continue to develop both innovative and powerful financial tools including savings, small business loans, insurance and training, that are making a positive impact on the day-to-day lives of millions of people living in the world’s poorest communities. This is an important milestone in the history of our organization and we look forward to celebrating it with the Greater Phoenix community.”

The event is expected to raise more than $450,000 to support Opportunity International’s work around the globe, and will draw more than 70 attendees from the local business and philanthropic communities. During the event, Opportunity International will recognize local philanthropists who have been key champions for Opportunity’s work in the developing world. Honorees include Don Ebinger; Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold; Terry and Anne Guerrant/The Guerrant Foundation; The John and Jacque Weberg Foundation; Eugene and Mary-Lynn Kaulius; and, Timothy and Rhonda Snider.

Special guests for the “Festive Holiday Fête” will include Kadita “A.T.” Tshibaka, member, Opportunity International Board of Directors, and a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tshibaka has extensive experience in international finance, having worked with Citibank in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America. Also speaking at the event will be David Simms, board chair of Opportunity International’s Global Microfinance Operations. During his career Simms has held executive roles in financial services, management consulting, government and nonprofits with organizations including Bridgespan Group, MBNA America and Bain & Company. Simms is also a White House Fellow.

During the evening’s festivities, Kelly Flanagan, a multimedia production artist and recent graduate of Arizona State University, will debut a short film from her travels earlier this year with Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO) as the winner of Opportunity’s 2010 Tanzania Correspondent Contest. YAO is a network of passionate, globally minded young professionals who are dedicated to providing economic opportunities for people living in chronic poverty.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. at the Gainey Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale, and will include a cocktail reception and dinner. Entertainment for the evening will include traditional African rhythm grooves with Baliphone, Djembe, Shakere and other traditional hand percussion provided by Frank Thompson and Keith Johnson of the AZ Rhythm Connection. Tickets are available for $142 per person, the average size of a first Trust Group loan for an Opportunity International client. Tables for eight are available for $1,136, which keeps an Opportunity International mobile bank on the road for approximately one month. For information on additional sponsorship levels, please contact Cindy Schwab-Salem, Opportunity’s regional director for the southwest, at [email protected].

For more information or to purchase tickets for the event, visit www.opportunity.org/az40th or call Lauren Jones at (800) 793-9455 x4153.

About Opportunity International

Opportunity International provides access to savings, small business loans, insurance and training to over five million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Clients in over 20 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbors and build a safety net for the future. For more information, visit http://www.opportunity.org or join the conversation at http://facebook.com/opportunityintl and http://twitter.com/opportunityintl.

Jennifer Anaya
iD8 Marketing/Opportunity International
[email protected]

Christina Koliopoulos
VP of Communications 
[email protected]

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