Marisa Schoen's campaign to send a young woman to college

Looking for a way to make an impact in the coming year? Consider sponsoring a Bo M. Karlsson Foundation scholar. Sponsorships help guarantee funding for BMKF scholars and offer something more. Students say it is profoundly uplifting to know that someone else cares and supports their goals.

Donors like Marisa Schoen say the experience is inspirational for them, too. Longtime BMKF donors, Marisa and her husband Darren previously sponsored Sarita Sharma (Class of 2014)--a recent graduate and one of Nepal's first women electronic engineers. This year they chose to sponsor Sarita's sister Babita, a civil engineer. But Marisa wanted to do more. "I knew the Foundation had an initiative to give scholarships to women with disabilities and I couldn't stop thinking about it," Marisa said, "so I decided I wanted to fundraise to send an additional student to school this year."

One custom webpage, 700 emails, and a $2,500 goal

"Some folks donated $10, some $100--but as you can imagine, it takes awhile to raise $2,500 in $10 increments," Marisa said. Undaunted, Marisa made 20 pairs of earrings and took them to work as gifts for colleagues who donated. Her friend Julie made Rice Krispies treats to sell and together they recruited donations in the lunchroom. "I work at Microsoft and the response was wonderful, the people kind, and the earrings and treats a hit. The individual donations and Microsoft's matching funds gave me the boost I needed to make my fundraising goal," Marisa said. "It's wonderful to make an impact on a person's life. My family and friends are sending a young woman to college and I cannot express how heartwarming that thought is for me."

The Bo M. Karlsson Foundation is currently seeking sponsors for 7 students. To learn more, please contact Sonnia Karlsson at sjk73@msn.com.


December 2015: We ran an End of Year Fundraising campaign for gifts of $15 or more to help these disadvantaged, yet determined women reach their goals. BMKF Fund Raising!

16 August 2014: Paris a Midi fundraiser at Luc Restaurant in Seattle to fund our 2014-15 scholarships.

31 May 2014: 3rd Annual Phoenix Penny Drive took place between January-May. Young Phoenix was joined by other young philanthropists Taejas, Mateo, Sonya, Lana, Teo, Kaia and Hale! The goal was $2000.00.

27 April: Istanbul Night fundraiser included delicious Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Persian dishes, complemented by belly dancing, at Bistro Turquaz in Seattle's Madrona neighborhood. Net proceeds funded our 2014 scholarships.

25-26 April 2014: BMKF was a community sponsor for AAINA, 9th South Asian Women's Festival put on by Tasveer at the Seattle Asian Art Musuem.

14 December 2013: Local designer Allegra Samuelson debuted her collection of elegant classics. Evening included abstract artwork by Sami Thompson and food by Chef Chris Blanco. 10% of all proceeds were donated to BMKF.

12 October 2013: BMKF partnered with Tasveer for the Seattle South Asian Film Festival. The Nepali film "Oass: A Drop of Dew" was screened.

October 2013: October 11 is International Day of the Girl, and throughout the month of October donations of $10 or more that were made to BMKF through Jolkana were matched by the Seattle International Foundation.

27 September 2013: M-bibe presented An M-Power Benefit Concert for BMKF at The Garden House. We thank M-bibe for organizing the wonderful music and to everyone who came out to listen and support the cause! For more information about the featured artists and event sponsors for that special evening, please visit the Facebook page

19 May 2013: Mahilaa 2013 held at Mount Baker Clubhouse, Seattle WA.

10-12 May 2013: BMKF will be a featured non-profit organization at Aaina 2013 at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Visit http://aaina.tasveer.org/2013/.

Spring 2013: BMKF was part of the Give2Girls campaign. Read more about the campaign here!

February to April 2013: 2nd Annual Phoenix Penny Drive -- Young Phoenix collected pennies for BMKF again and this year she partnered with 4-year old Taejas! Local Seattle businesses that put out jars to collect pennies included Himalayan Corporation, Everest Kitchen, Giraffe, Allegra Samuelson Fashion Design, New India Express Restaurant, Mockingbird Books, Leah Dawn Design, Rain City Burgers, Shanti Threading Salon, Shannon Hayes Hair Design/Astrology and NBBJ.

15 September 2012: Wine Notes wine tasting fundraiser presented by "Wine Trails" author Steve Roberts and renowned international pianist Ludmilla Valershteyn to benefit BMKF.

11 August 2012: BMKF fundraiser with Anna Witte reading from her newest children's book, Lola's Fandango, at Mockingbird Books. 28 July 2012: Rain City Burgers donated proceeds to BMKF from their booth at Roosevelt's "Bull Moose" Street Festival. Thanks RCB!

30 April 2012: Six-year-old Phoenix from Seattle area ran a Penny Drive from February to April, collecting $1203.00. Special shout-out to Rain City Burgers in Seattle and Miss Shawna & her 8th grade class of Sylvester Middle School for raising pennies for the drive. Thank you, Phoenix!

20-22 April 2012: BMKF was a community sponsor of the 2012 Aaina Festival which celebrates the artistic work of and about South Asian women. The festival was held at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

7-9 October 2011: BMKF partnered with Tasveer's 7th Annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival; films were screened at SIFF Cinema and SIFF Film Center.

13 August 2011: Mahilaa Night 4th Annual Dinner & Auction fundraiser held at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle.

27 May 2011: BMKF held a "Namaste" Raffle Fundraiser throughout the spring months to raise money for the filming of a documentary in Nepal. Seattle-based photographer Cora Edmonds's "Namaste" 11x14 color photograph, double-matted and framed, valued at $375.00 was raffled off for $10 per ticket. Raffle drawing was held at ArtXChange Gallery in Seattle. Congratulations to raffle winner Nishes Shrestha!

26 March 2011: BMKF sponsored Women of Nepal Program at 2011 Aaina Film Festival which included two films and a play: 1) Girlworld Project (Amy Benson, USA 2010, 20min, work-in-progress, Nepali/English), 2) Chaukaith (Threshold) (Deepak Rauniyar & Asha Magarati, Nepal 2008, 31min, Nepali), 3) Swasnimanchhe: A Married Woman (One-act comedic play based on lives of three wives). The festival was held at Seattle Asian Art Museum.

November 2010: Seattle-based Himalayan Odyssey Tours offered to make $500 donation to BMKF for each Foundation supporter who participated in one of their tours to Bhutan, India, Nepal. These tours are designed and led by David Samuel Robbins, a professional photojournalist, Himalayan expert and past guide for National Geographic Expeditions. http://www.himalayanodyssey.net/

25 September 2010: Mahilaa Night 3rd Annual Dinner & Silent Auction fundraiser held at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle.

15 August 2010: Nepal Night: A Sherpa Event hosted by Sherpa Heritage Alliance and BMKF to raise funds for two Sherpa women pursuing a degree in Education. Upon completion of their studies these young women will teach at the Sherpa Heritage School.

18 July 2010: Tea Social & Silent Auction BMKF supporter, Linda Landin, hosted a tea party/fundraiser at her Seattle lakeside home, which she intends to make an annual event!

24 April 2010: Tea & Discussion in Kathmandu, Nepal Our Nepali advisor Sudeep Manandhar put together this gathering at Sidharta Foodland to introduce and share BMKF's vision and mission with local educators and government officials. BMKF Founder Sonnia Karlsson and four of our scholarship recipients were present at this fundraiser, as well as a reporter who wrote about the event on the local Newari Newspaper.

24 April 2010: Raise Your Glass: A wine tasting event! Five Bordeaux wines to taste, silent auction, hors d'oeuvres and more wine!

20 February 2010: Karaoke Night hosted in Marlis DeJongh's home and catered by New India Express. Raised over $900 for BMKF!

31 December 2009: A Singles New Year's Eve Party in Seattle hosted by Linda Landin to raise money for local charities including BMKF.

31 October 2009: Halloween Bash in Seattle hosted by Linda Landin to raise money for local charities including BMKF.

4 October 2009: BMKF sponspored a short Films Program at Seattle's Independent South Asian Film Festival 2009 that screened three Nepali films.
Awaken Eyes directed by Binod Paudel (Nepal, Nepali 2008)
Where is the Story? directed by Manoj Babu Panta (Nepal, Nepali 2008)
Chaukaith (Threshold) directed by Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal, Nepali/Maithili 2008)
Tea Time in Sirutar directed by Leonard Davis (US-Nepal 2009)

22 August 2009: August Luau at Bonney Lake in Seattle. Linda Landin hosted a BBQ party to raise money for three local charities and BMKF was one of them!

1 August 2009: Mahilaa Night (Mahilaa Saanjh) 2nd Annual Dinner & Silent Auction fundraiser held at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle. Thank you to our auction donors: Marlis DeJongh, Hong Hoang, Jennifer Bennett, Rossana de la Noval, Vanessa Karlsson, Sonnia Karlsson, Sujan Shrestha, Jackie Garces & Doug Hagen, Storm Basketball, Second Ascent, Enlighten, New India Express Restaurant, Retail Therapy, The Himalayan Kitchen Restaurant, Annapurna Restaurant, Wine Alley, Bill Lippe, Micki Lippe, Nirvana Curry & Kebab Restaurant, Maharaja Restaurant (West Seattle), C & P Coffee Company, Hilarie & Keith Luther, Cara Burton, Chance Karlsson-Kelley and Bob & Greta Anderson. Special thanks to Erica Cheshier, Ayda Ramayan, Rick de la Noval and Ellen Moos.

26 April 2009: Namaste Night at the Edgewater Hotel. View invitation for details!

7 February 2009: The BMKF co-sponsored a film at the 17th Annual Seattle Human Rights Film Festival (SHRFF) at the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle (SHRFF) presented by Amnesty International Puget Sound.
Film - The Sari Soldiers directed by Julie Bridgham (USA/Nepal 2008)

24 January 2009: JUICE Club Night at LoFi Performance Gallery in Seattle with DJ Rhythma and DJ Darek Mazzone. Proceeds from the event were donated to four charities, including the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation!

28 September 2008: The Bo M. Karlsson Foundation sponsored closing night of the Seattle's Independent South Asian Film Festival 2008 where two Nepali films were screened.
Short Film - Nabarsiyeko Jhari, A Silent Monsoon (2006)
Feature Film - Kagbeni (2007)

2 August 2008: Mahilaa Night (Mahilaa Saanjh) 1st Annual Dinner & Silent Auction Fundraiser held at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle. The evening included a silent auction, music & dance from Nepal, a henna artist and dinner catered by our long-time friends Mani & Sushila Chhetri from India Express/Himalayan Kitchen Restaurants. Thank you to everyone who donated items and gift certificates to our Silent Auction: Annapurna Cafe, Babylegs, Jennifer Bennett, Cara Burton, Marlis DeJongh, Rossana de la Noval, Michel Eubank Spruance, Everest Kitchen, India Express/Himalayan Kitchen, The Karlsson Family, Lila Lama & Dhan Phun, Laughing Buddha Gift Store, Bill Lippe, Micki Lippe, Crissy Marshall, Ellen Moos, Salon Bellezza, Jeri Schneider, Marissa & Darren Schoen, Patty Villa, The Wine Alley. Special thanks to Erica Cheshier for designing the invitations and to Rick de la Noval of Studio Comps for printing services, to Ayda Ramadan our guest henna artist, and to the performers: Basanti Bishwa, Bittu Aadhikari, Jyotsna Malla, Megha Nugehally, Sujan Shrestha, Suren Shrestha, Toran Gauchan, Amit Shrestha, Subhash Gihimire and Saphal KC.

JULY 2008: The Bo M. Karlsson Foundation recently entered into a partnership with the Ama Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps underprivileged children in Nepal (specifically the children at Ama Ghar). It is our hope that by forging a relationship with another non-profit in the same country, we will increase the awareness of need in Nepal, as well as reach more donors with similar interests. We will hold some joint events throughout each year and help support one another via website links, news updates and word-of-mouth. What's the Connection? When Ama Ghar's first teenage children wanted to pursue a higher education, there was no established fund for it. Sonnia Karlsson, who had recently visited and been enchanted by Ama Ghar, came to the children's aid by funding a young nursing student named Bindu. She eventually established The Bo M. Karlsson Scholarship Fund, which allowed girls in need from impoverished countries to apply for scholarships to help cover the cost of higher education. In 2007, the fund became The Bo M. Karlsson Foundation, which funds higher education scholarships for women in Nepal. We hope that, like Ama Ghar, we can increase the number of scholarships we provide annually and continue to make a difference in the lives of females in Nepal.

Please visit our About page for more information on the history of The Bo M. Karlsson Foundation.

21 June 2008: Garage Sale in Shoreline WA. A portion of total sales was donated to the Foundation.

29 March 2008: The Bo M. Karlsson Foundation sponsored two films for the Aaina Film Festival presented by Tasveer.
Feature Film - Daughters of Wisdom (Tibet)
Short Film - Bare (India)

designed by: Erica Cheshier
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