Yatra Foundation Australia held its much anticipated annual gala fundraiser on Saturday, 12 October, at the St Kilda town hall.
Back to school was the new theme in addition to the standard “Bollywood”, and the 270 people who attended embraced this theme with great imagination. With the guests in school uniforms, 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 mehndi stall, great food from Gaylords, DJ Aji mixing it up, and the Ignite dancers giving everyone a taste of Bollywood dancing. 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 supported Sadhana Smiles, who kept the crowd interested and entertained as always. Interviews were conducted with two members of the recent Yatra south India cycle tour who regaled with memories and it was announced that the next Yatra cycle tour is planned for March 2020.
The main Yatra speech highlighted the individual and collective impacts Yatra has on students, allowing them to pursue careers that they could not have dreamt 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 it has allowed students to obtain full academic scholarships through their sporting prowess. Overall, the warmth and goodwill in the hall was palpable as everyone, once again, came together to help those less fortunate. The night was also a success from a fundraising perspective and almost $83,000 has been raised.
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