EducateAKid, a charity arm of Organization of Hindu Malayalees (OHM) conducted its 12th annual fundraising event on Saturday, November 4th 2017 at the Tandoor Bar & Banquet in Lake Forest, California. EducateAKid currently supports 94 students pursuing college education in various disciplines such as medicine, nursing, engineering and others. EducateAKid raised a total of $54,000 in 2017 with the goal of supporting 100 students this year.
Elementary student, Tanush Menon started the event with a prayer. Lamp lighting was performed by board members Rema Nair, Harikumar, Ravi Vellitheri , Pat Iyer and senior members of ohm Govindan Kutty Nair & K.P. Hari. An introductory video created by SD Creations inspired the audience and set the stage for an evening filled with high energy and the spirit of giving.
In her welcome address, the president of OHM, Rema Nair requested all supporters to contribute to the cause in any way they can.
In his address to the audience, Mr. Paul Kalra from Signature America Financial Services urged the audience to donate at least 1% of the individual income to charitable causes such as EducateAKid.
The highlight of the event was the key note speech from National Spelling Bee Champion Ananya Vinay, who provided valuable insights into her journey towards the championship and enthusiastically answered the questions from the audience. Mr. Sajan Pillai , CEO of UST Global Inc, graced the occasion and felicitated the chief guest. UST Global Inc, along with Dr. Shyam Kishan & Family were the platinum sponsors for this year's event.
In his annual update to the audience, EducateAKid chairperson, Sanjaye Elayattu shared some student, advisor and parent testimonials to the audience. Sanjaye also thanked all the volunteer advisors in India, volunteers in the US and all the supporters and contributors and appealed for their sustained support for this noble cause.
Mr. Mathew Daniel, Chair - Susan Daniel Memorial (SDM) Cancer Relief Fund, lightened up the hall with a humor talk.
GOLD Sponsor and long term supporter Mr. K.P. Hari (Speridian Technologies), requested the audience to spread the word about EducateAKid and highlighted the fact that EducateAKid is one of the very few charities in the world with no administrative costs. Other GOLD Sponsors for the event were Viji & Vinodh Bahuleyan, Lata Hariharan & Sajan Pillai , Beena & Sree Kumar, Sujith Nair(Recurring Decimals) and Simplain. The Platinum & GOLD sponsors were felicitated by OHM board directors Rema Nair, Sanjaye Elayattu and Ravi Vellitheri.
Emcees and longtime EducateAKid volunteers, Kavitha Menon and Priya Sivadas, maintained the atmosphere in good spirits and channeled the audience' energy towards fundraising. The evening was filled with light music from Let's Sing group. Singers Dipu VR, Ravi Raghavan, Sindhu Pillai, Athira Suresh, Suresh Enchoor, Gowri Ram Prasad, Ram Prasad, Akarsh Suresh, Anjali Ghosh, Vinodh Bahuleyan, Devi Subhash and Divya Dipu sang individual and medley songs composed by the legend Ilayaraja.
Group of dancers from AMNA Dance academy; Krishna, Anisha, Abigail, Annabel, Verika and Ashna performed Bollywood dances. AMNA Dance founder Ms. Amna and her assistants Roopa & Arisha performed a sterling line dance with lot of audience participation. In addition, Joe Abraham, Helen Cheriyan and Sharone Dharan performed a scintillating bhangra dance to add flavor to the event.
Anjali Ghosh, a high school student and EducateAKid volunteer, donated her drawing for silent auction at the EducateAKid. Team of middle school and high school student volunteers, Nandana Menon, Meghana Menon, Meghana Nair, Anjali Ghosh and Ashwin Sanjaye took charge the raffle tickets.
OHM Secretary Vinodh Bahuleyan thanked all the sponsors, event volunteers, advisors and all the long term supporters of EducateAKid.