18th October 2019
Dear Yatris (Friends of Yatra),
We would like to thank you all for supporting the 2019 Yatra Foundation Fundraiser at the St Kilda Town Hall on Saturday October 12th.
“Back to School” was the new theme in addition to the popular “Bollywood”, and the 270 people who attended embraced this theme with great imagination. School girls dressed up in their discordant colour uniforms while the boys gallantly tried to squeeze into their old school blazers! The hall was adorned with blackboards, pens and pencils, and other school paraphernalia, highlighting Yatra’s mission: to provide access to a quality education for the poorest children in India.
The night was a great success with wonderful silent and live auction offerings, the very popular Henna by Gurmeet, delicious food from Gaylords, DJ Aji mixing it up, Shikha Chhangani and her dancers from the Tatkaarkathak Institute and Jagriti Bhatia and her dancers from Ignite Bollywood Dance Company giving everyone a taste of Bollywood dancing. Our energetic and passionate auctioneer, Mark Verocchi, was brilliant as ever, ensuring great prices for all the live auction items.
The evening was fabulously MC’d by long-time Yatra friend and supporter Sadhana Smiles, who kept the crowd interested and entertained as always. Interviews were conducted with Anita & Ben two members of the most recent Yatra Cycle Tour of India who regaled us with their memories and it was announced that the next tour is planned for March 2021.
The main Yatra speech highlighted the individual and collective impacts Yatra is having on our students, allowing them to pursue careers that they could not have dreamed of previously. It highlighted several students for whom education has been literally lifesaving and changing. It also pointed out the importance Yatra has placed on sporting achievement and excellence and how this has allowed many of our students to obtain full academic scholarships through their sporting prowess. We acknowledged the great contribution of our friend Tilak Khinder Managing director Rabro Sports India who has provided much of our sporting equipment to Yatra projects in India and who we were delighted could be present on the night.
Overall, the warmth and goodwill in the hall was palpable as everyone, once again, came together to help those less fortunate. We would especially like to thank all the volunteers that helped before, during and after the event. It was also a success from a fundraising perspective and we have so far raised $85,000, with more donations coming in. A great result testament to the generosity of our supporters.
The night ended with school uniforms a bit worse for wear as people danced and chatted, many now old friends. We are always humbled by the great response and kindness of all our supporters and are already looking forward to our next gala fundraiser.
Sophie, Ravi, Renu & Sanjay
Yatra Foundation Australia