AI is constantly busy developing and funding programs that enable people in India and Southeast Asia to stand strong on their own. The majority of our projects are supported from the organization’s two bases in New York and Tokyo. As such, it may not come as a surprise that we host annual galas in each metropolis.
Earlier this summer, on June 7, friends of AI from all over the tri-state area came together on the Upper East Side for a soirée in support of AI’s projects. As dusk began to gather and the evening light settled over New York City, a well-heeled crowd of ninety was taking in the sights and mingling while snacking on hors d’oeuvres. Some took a break to participate in the silent auction, which included items such as spectacularly stunning jewelry, pillows, laptop bags, and purses.
The gala also featured a live auction, which was an exciting event. Some of the highlights were a tour of the Beaux Arts Upper East Side residence of the Japanese ambassador to the UN (with lunch), a ride in a Ferrari and luxury hotel accommodations over the Labor Day weekend in the Finger Lakes, a Japanese tea ceremony, etc. Tallying up the totals of both the live and silent auctions, AI raised approximately $6,000.
A traditional Indian dance performed by Adya Sinha, poetry reading by Ambassador Seth, and an engaging presentation by AI founder Geeta Mehta rounded out the evening. Claire Charamnac, co-founder of WomenLEAD, and Dr. Mary Byrne, Director, Center for Families and Children, spoke of their projects that AI is now funding.
With low planning and operations costs, the support of many volunteers, and generous donations, AI raised $10,548 that night.
Since then, $2500 has been distributed to WomenLEAD, $4000 to the Center for Families and Children’s “Saving Mothers in Bangladesh” project, and $2250 for a soccer camp benefiting slum children in Chennai.
“The point is not holding onto the money, the point is to get it out there,” Geeta said. And get it out there we did.
Pictures from the event can be found here.
We hope that you will join us either in Tokyo or New York at the next gala and gain first hand knowledge of our work.
– by Charlotte Evans.