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Press Release


Anne Heyman and husband Seth Merrin

Anne's Night 2016

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Anne's Night Honors Memory and Legacy of Anne Heyman

Written by: Emily Riden
Client: Anne's Night
Release Date: 2015-12-31

Wellington, FL - December 31, 2015 - Anne Heyman was many things to many people: a fellow equestrian and barn mate, a friend, a wife, a daughter, a mother, a coworker, and, to hundreds of children in Rwanda, a lifesaver.
In 2005, Heyman and her husband, Seth Merrin, attended an event at which the Rwandan genocide was discussed. That evening, Merrin asked the guest speaker to identify the biggest problem Rwanda faced. The answer given to him was the vast number of orphans in the country and the lack of a way to support their well-being and development. Immediately, Heyman, a South African-born lawyer, former New York City assistant district-attorney and a mother of three, had an idea.
Three years later, following extensive research, legwork, fundraising and building, the first 125 orphaned students moved into the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village - Heyman's incredible brainchild and heartfelt passion.
Heyman devoted herself to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village until January 2014. That month, while pursuing another of great passions and competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, Heyman passed away tragically following a fall from her horse.
Watch Heyman's inspiring and emotional story here: 
Today, Heyman's incredible legacy lives on both in Rwanda and here in the United States.
The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village is now home to more than 500 students, each of whom graduate from Agahozo-Shalom as balanced adults able to care for themselves and their families and committed to making their community, their country and their world a better place.
In September 2014, Heyman's work and lasting impact inspired the creation of the inaugural 'Anne's Night.' The first event, held at Double H Farm in Ridgefield, Connecticut, was organized by equestrian friends of Heyman who had been impacted by her life and her tragic passing.
On January 9, 2016, Anne's Night returns as a night to remember Heyman and to benefit the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, as well as newly added featured charity, Uryadi's Village.
"What was great about Anne was that she wasn't just about her village. She just wanted all of us to do something," said friend, fellow equestrian and co-founder of Anne's Night, Steve Weiss. "She truly, truly believed in paying it forward. It doesn't matter if you help an older person across the street or you help a kid go to school, Anne just wanted each of us to make a difference."  
Weiss continued, "That's why we came up with the concept that Anne's Night could go on and on and on, and we could introduce each year a new charity that is making a difference for a number of people."
Uryadi's Village was founded in 2003 by equestrian Jennifer Crooks. The mission behind Uryadi's Village in Ethopia bears striking resemblance to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, making it an ideal fit as the featured partner charity for 2016.
The evening benefitting both Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village and Uryadi's Village will be held at Double H Farm in Wellington, Florida and hosted by Cayce Harrison, Quentin Judge, Sally Slater and Steve Weiss. 
The African-themed evening will kick off the winter season in Wellington in style with incredible food, featuring several African-inspired dishes, a beautiful setting and fantastic entertainment, including a singing performance from a special guest and DJing for the evening by Hannah Bronfman. Dress for the evening is relaxed safari-attire, adding to the comfortable and extremely enjoyable atmosphere guests are bound to enjoy. 
Thanks to extremely generous supporters, the night will also feature a phenomenal line-up of auction items including lessons and course walks with top riders, luxurious getaways, Adele concert tickets, exclusive internship opportunities and much more! View the full list of auction items here
For more information on the event, to purchase tickets or make a donation, please  
To learn more about the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village visit, and visit to find out more about Uraydi's Village. 


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