Jackson Hole: Raising Awareness and Taking Action

By Courtney Stamm
Last week, friends of Refugees International gathered at the home of Veronica and Gary Silberberg in Jackson Hole – the heart of Wyoming's stunning mountain landscape.  More than 40 guests joined RI to participate in the 8th Annual Jackson Hole Circle event where RI President Dr. Michel Gabaudan provided an update on the state of the world’s refugees. Year after year, informed and compassionate individuals take a break from their busy summer schedules to show their enthusiasm and support for RI’s lifesaving work for refugees around the world.  

Guests arrived around six in the evening and shared warm conversations while enjoying beautiful views of the Grand Tetons and nearby grazing lands.  Peta Roubin, RI Board Member and longstanding supporter of the Jackson Hole Circle, welcomed guests and introduced Dr. Gabaudan.  This past year was a particularly special one for Michel as he assumed the presidency of RI in September and a few months later traveled to Dadaab camp in Kenya – the world's largest refugee camp just outside of Somalia.  This powerful experience reaffirmed Michel’s commitment to RI’s work on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable people – a commitment he was happy to share with our Jackson Hole friends.

During his remarks, Michel touched on what it is that makes RI such a unique organization, including RI's independence from any government or UN funding. This independence, he said, gives RI added credibility when speaking with UN agencies and governments since RI does not directly benefit from any UN or government action.  Michel's moving speech, which also touched upon the current crises in both Somalia and Libya, generated a continued interest and awareness amongst a committed Jackson group. To date, that group has raised more than $16,000 from last week’s event. If that total reaches $25,000, the monies raised will be matched by a generous gift from Tat and Paul Maxwell. Many thanks to Tat and Paul for renewing their commitment to RI and for leveraging their support for additional funding from our friends in Jackson Hole.

Overall, the event was a tremendous success as it allowed RI the opportunity to raise critical funding and to reengage a community of globally-minded, socially active supporters. We look forward to our 9th Annual Jackson Hole Circle in 2012!


refugees worldwide

I am very grateful that your group is aggressively studying the plight of refugees, worldwide. As more countries are divided by warring factions and natural disasters, this situation is going to increse dramatically; I am concerned. My heart goes out to those who are suffering and I want them to know that no matter where they are, and if their circumstances do not change THERE IS HOPE! Please share with them. Thank you !