EducateAKid, a scholarship charity organization under the umbrella of Organization of Hindu Malayalees (OHM) conducted its 13th Annual Fundraising Banquet on Saturday November 3, 2018 at the Godavari South Indian Restaurant in Lake Forest, California. EducateAKid supported 125 students in 2017 pursuing higher education in various entities such as engineering, medicine, nursing, art, commerce … and other Bachelor’s and Master’s program around different universities. EducateAKid raised a total of $60,000+ in 2018 with the goal of supporting 150 students this year.
The program started with a video presentation by Prasad Pillai highlighting the importance of education, followed by Ashna Sanjaye’s prayer. Brenda Hari and K. P Hari performed the lamp lighting with OHM board members Rema Nair, Ravi Vellitheri, Pat Iyer, Vinod Bahuleyan, Prasad, Sreedevi Warrier, Sunil Raveendran, Jay Menon, and the co-chairs of EducateAKid Sanjaye Elayattu, Manoj Pillai and Jay Nair.
Rema Nair, the president of OHM requested the audience to support generously for education through her welcome address.
Eric Gutierrez, the founder and president of NewGlobalEd was the keynote speaker of the event. He went through his personal story describing the need of funds to pursue education and his hardship to become successful without much support. His speech was really inspiring to the audience, especially the young children in the community.
In addition, Dr. William Stringer, MD sent his video message to the event supporting education and the importance of charity work to help globally bring our future generation with needed support and resources.
Sajan Pillai, Chief Guest, the CEO of UST Global presented a video along with Sreelatha Vijayalakshmi. Sreelatha had a passionate speech regarding the importance of education, especially female students in Kerala and the need of self-support. The speech and the video was very heart touching and inspiring to the audience.
The chief guests Sajan Pillai and Lata Hariharan, K. P Hari and Brenda Hari, Eric Gutierrez, Paul Kalra, Sanjaye Elayattu and Smitha Sanjaye, Dr. Stringer, and Mathew Thomas were felicitated by OHM Board Members.
Sreedevi Warrier, the Chairperson for EducateAKid shared the student testimonials, advisors comments and a short video presentation with her annual report to the audience. Sreedevi also thanked all the volunteer advisors in India, and the founders of EducateAKid Ashok Krishnan, Balan Panicker, and Hari Nair. She also extended her gratitude for Sanjaye Elayattu, and Manoj Pillai for their guidance. She emphasized the fact that EAK is one of the very few charity organizations in the world with no administrative cost. She also encouraged the audience to open their wallet and “support a student and save a family”.
Gopalakrishnan Nair, one of the EducateAKid advisors, was honored during the event and he thanked all the EAK supporters and OHM Board for supporting the needy children in Kerala.
All major sponsors including Platinum, Gold, Silver, Named Scholarship sponsors will be recognized in the annual report to be published in the Month of January 2019.
Keerthi Paliath, a longtime volunteer for EducateAKid and OHM emceed the event. She maintained an enthusiastic atmosphere throughout the program inspiring audiences to donate more. The stunning dance performance by Nandana and Meghna made the event so energetic and the audience thoroughly enjoyed their dance beats. Let’s Sing Group’s light music made the evening more melodious and enjoyable. Tanush Menon, Ashna Sanjaye, Raghu Arangaserry, Balan Panicker, Ravi Raghavan, Devi Subhash, Gouri Ram Prasad, Akarsh Enchoor Suresh, Suresh Enchoor, Athira Suresh, and Vinod Bahuleyan showcased their individual talent through famous songs in Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi.
The front desk was managed by Manoj Pillai, Lakshmi Narayan, and Smitha Manoj along with OHM treasurer Suresh Enchoor. The raffle tickets were handled by Ashwin Sanjaye, Arjun Manoj, and Viji Vinod. EAK thanked Mathew Thomas for the grand raffle price ‘a cruise trip to Bahamas ”.
Bindu Sunil, Divya, Rema Nair, Rekha Jayadeep, Smitha Sanjaye, Smitha Manoj, Sachita Sabari, and Viji Vinod helped decorate the banquet hall and the stage. Vinod Bahuleyan, Baba Pranab, Ram Prasad, and Jayadeep Menon helped with the audiovisual system throughout the program.
Vinod Bahuleyan, secretary of OHM thanked all the sponsors, event volunteers, advisors, speakers and all the donors for their continued support to EAK.
The event was ended with a DJ, by Vimal Ghosh, a long term supporter and volunteer of EAK.