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Children's Hope raises $250,000

November 09, 2006 03:04 IST

The New York-based Children's Hope India generated more than $250,000 at its recent Passport to India annual gala.

The organisation's goal is to ensure a brighter future for impoverished Indian children.

Held at Pier 60 in Chelsea in New York City, the gala drew more than 700 people and featured designer Manish Arora, who presented his 2006 couture collection, Life is Beautiful.

Arora flew in his collection from Delhi. With him came Harmeet Bajaj, who choreographed the show. The gala was sold out.

The master of ceremony was stand-up comic Dan Nainan who kept the audience laughing with his novel take on everything from politics to culture to sports.

Maya Rajani, president, Children's Hope, spoke of the projects the organisation had in India and presented a short clip about the changed lives of children.

Honored at the event was Tania Spilchen of One! International. Splichen, a Canadian who now lives in India, has made a big difference to slum dwellers in Mumbai, providing them with help to address issues of health and education.

Designer Rachel Roy, who heads the gala benefit committee, attended the event with her husband, hip-hop mogul Damon Dash.

The keynote speech was delivered by Aru Kulkarni, division president, Liz Claiborne, who spoke about the need for the successful to help improve the lives of those who have not received the same opportunities in life.

To see all the progress that Children's Hope has made since they started with only 40 children being helped, to today where so many more deserving and needy children are being reached - 50,000 and growing - is truly remarkable, Kulkarni said.

"From educational programs to medical help, from juvenile shelters to scholarship programs, Children's Hope India is delivering on its promise - Every Child Counts!" she said.

Though Arora's dramatic show was the highlight of the evening, guests were drawn by the silent auction where they placed bids on everything from a seven-night stay at the Kairali ayurvedic health resort in Kerala to a Philip Stein diamond watch. The auction raised close to $14,000.

After the fashion show, the visitors got down to dining and dancing. The evening's proceeds will go to Children's Hope India's projects in several Indian cities.

Founded in 1992, Children's Hope India, a nonprofit organization, has been raising funds for children's causes for the past 12 years, including the need for clean water, regular medical care, a secure food supply, and access to education.

It is a totally volunteer driven force comprising Indian women professionals in New York. Every year the glamorous and fun gala raises more than $150,000 for the projects. The funds raised support health, educational and vocational projects. The organisation operates 25 projects that impact the lives of thousands of children.
A Correspondent