WOBURN, MA—More than 385 community leaders, philanthropists, supporters and well-wishers joined together on Friday at Saheli’s fifth fundraising gala, Nirbhaya, and raised $90,000 for the non-profit organization which has been fighting domestic violence for the last 21 years in the South Asian community of New England. (Photos: Dyuti Majumdar/Art and Memories)
Held at the Hilton Hotel in Woburn, MA, the gala also celebrated the strength and courage of its empowered domestic violence survivors and invited three of them on the stage to share their stories, where they were met with a standing ovation.
Supriya Saurabh, newly-elected President of Saheli and a member of its board, said the highlights of the event were the true, gut-wrenching stories shared by the domestic violence survivors of their past lives.
“The fifth fundraising gala turned out to be the biggest success for the organization so far. By the end of the evening, the team tallied a whopping $90,000 between the sponsors, ticket sales, donors and pledge card supporters,” said Saurabh. “With an objective of $100,000 for the 2017 gala, the team came very close and recorded over $90,000 of donation and counting before the close of the night and the online donations still coming in.”
Saurabh says to those who have not yet donated but believe in Saheli’s cause, they can still donate at Saheli’s website: http://saheliboston.org/donate/
DJ Yogz and emcees, Savitha Rajiv and Tanvi Devimane, introduced the show with great fanfare. Jayshree Bala Rajamani, an accomplished Bharatanatyam Dancer and founder of Bharathakalai School of Dance, presented a dance depicting the unity of Shiva and Shakti. The glimpses of the award-winning one-woman play “Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan” by keynote speaker, Dipti Mehta, kept the audience spellbound.
The event also debuted a short film on domestic violence; written and directed by Priti Amin, an Indian television actress in collaboration with Burlington Cable Access TV, her husband Lionel Pereira and the Saheli team.
Dr. Manju Sheth, President of INE Multimedia, creator of New England Choice Awards and Saheli Advisory Committee member, welcomed Saheli’s longstanding supporters and special guests, which included Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Lahey Clinic and the Burlington Police Department.
Kiran Uppuluri, a Saheli Board member, shared Saheli’s 21-year journey and numerous achievements with the attendees. Anu Chitrapu and Ranjani Saigal, Saheli Advisory Committee members, helped attendees understand Saheli’s operating expenses and how their small donation can make a big difference for Saheli to continue to provide its services to the needful families.
“Saheli is indebted to its sponsors whose love and support has been vital for Saheli to achieve its mission,” said Saurabh.