OHM’s premier charity initiative, EducateAKid is a scholarship program designed to help financially challenged underprivileged young men and women who have entered higher learning institutions in India. EducateAKid hit a new milestone this year (2014) by raising close to $41,000.00 for the cause and is well on the way to grant the highest number of annual scholarships so far. The annual EducateAKid Banquet was held on Nov 1st at the Tandoor Cuisine of India in Orange, CA, The Diwali themed event was attended by over 250 guests. UST Global and Speridian Inc. were the grand sponsors of this event, along with Drs. Shyam Kishan and Sharmilla of Indiana.
Sajan Pillai, CEO of UST Global in his keynote speech spoke about the value of social work and this scholarship program. K.P. Hari, managing partner of Speridian Inc., who has provided invaluable support for this program for years, in a very moving speech made a heartfelt appeal promoting the scholarship program. Dr. Murali Nair of USC School of Social Work brought the attention of the audience to the value of social work with an insightful speech that drew from his vast research on related areas, as well as from his personal experience.
In his welcome address, OHM Board member and EducateAKid chair Jay Nair thanked everyone, including sponsors and donors, for helping some very deserving students in their quest for higher education. He praised the vision and dedication of all those who created and supported the scholarship program over the years.
OHM president Baburaj Dharan, along with senior director Ravi Vellatheri Menon, presented a memento plaque to the grand sponsors.
A short film made by Dipu Mannar and Suresh Babu was presented that recalled both the need for support for education, and statements from various personalities who made EducateAKid a reality. As part of the entertainment, various dancers added flavor to the evening, along with music by DJ Anthony and Brian, with the audience kept engaged by MC Reggie. Reshmi MSS Silks put on a grand display and sale of sarees and ethnic wear. EAK youth volunteers read out a Diwali message and letters from various scholarship recipients, and from their advisors.
Vinodh Bahuleyan, secretary of OHM, gave a vote of thanks appreciating all the volunteers, sponsors, donors, the entire board of directors and everyone who made the banquet and the fundraiser a success.
Along with Grand sponsors, the Banquet dinner event and entertainment was made possible with the help of Mathew Thomas (Realtor), Balbir Singh(owner of Tandoor), Dipu Mannar, Suresh Babu, Manu (Sandeep) Nair, Jaydeep Menon, Radhika Sreekumar, Kavitha and Pranesh Menon, Hema Panicker, Viji Vinodh, Sreedevi Warrier, Rekha Menon, Sreekumar, Sreekumar V, Sabari and many other volunteers.
Along with Corporate donations from UST, Speridian, Life impact solutions(GoldCamera), Sidna, Nair Investments LLC, some notable corporate giving and volunteer-hours matching programs that have donated to EAK are from, Apple Inc [Thanks to Suresh Kariyadan], Motorola [Thanks to Mohan Pisharody], Southern California Edison [Thanks to Ramesh Menon], and Paramount Farms [Thanks to Jaydeep Menon].
Some notable large donors were KP Hari, Sujith Nair(Arizona), Radhakrishna Sharma, Sanjaye Elayattu and Smitha Nair and Meena Mohan. Other significant personal donations were made by Pat Iyer, Dr Ravi Raghavan, Dr Geetha and Krishnan Ashok, Muralidharan Nair, Hema and Balan Panicker, Baburaj Dharan, Hari Nair (Houston), Prof Jaykrishnan, M.A.Menon and Radha, Radhika Sreekumar, Suresh Kariyadan, Ravi Vellatheri, Vinodh Bahuleyan, Suneetha Nair.
Our gratitude goes out to all the donors, volunteers and advisors for their continued support for this noble cause.