NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Saturday, March 7, the American India Foundation (AIF) hosted its second Annual Orange County Gala on the heels of a successful launch in 2014, bringing together more than 250 guests, including some of the region's most influential philanthropists and entrepreneurs, C-level executives, luminaries, and community leaders to raise more than $400,000 in support of AIF's flagship Learning and Migration Program (LAMP), celebrating its 10th Anniversary of providing children of migrant workers and communities impacted by seasonal migration with access to continuous, quality education.
AIF Trustee and Orange County Chair Tinnie Grewal welcomed the audience and thanked Gala Chairs MS International and Tarsadia Foundation. "The Orange County community is one that gives," remarked Mrs. Grewal. "We are here to further AIF's strong commitment to India's development by providing access to education and formal employment through partnerships with governments, local businesses and philanthropic communities." Emphasizing Orange County chapter's commitment to advance the foundation's continued efforts across America and its flagship Learning and Migration Program (LAMP) program she said, "The collective will of people to come together can result in collaborative efforts of communities to impact positive change in the lives of children of migrant workers and neglected sections of society. Collective philanthropic platform helps AIF to leverage their philanthropy by up to six and a half times, through co-funding relationships." Philanthropy "power" couple Glenn and Mindy Stearns were honored for their philanthropic leadership in the region. Founder and Chairman of Stearns Lending and Co-Founder of Indi.com, Mr. Stearns delivered a moving address on the importance of everyday philanthropy. "Despite our backgrounds and experiences, we are all humans and have more in common than our differences." University of California San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla delivered an inspiring keynote address, in which he re-traced the footsteps of economic opportunity in the U.S. to the growth of the Indian-American community as one of the nation's strongest and most successful diasporas – and how it is important to give back to both the U.S. and India communities to "bridge disparity with opportunity."
Award-winning New York-based comedian Anish Shah emceed the event. Zack Krone from California Coast Auctions led a stunning live auction and fundraising drive that raised $200,000 dedicated to AIF's LAMP program. The drive was preceded by a captivating and inspiring personal testimony by Jashobanti Mahananda, a longtime LAMP student from the remote rural Nuapada district in the state of Odisha, who was able to access educational opportunities for the first time through AIF and continue to pursue her dream of becoming an accountant. Jashobanti had joined her parents in migration to toil for up to sixteen hours per day in oppressive heat in the brick kilns for up to eight months a year starting at infancy until AIF intervened. Today she is a proud university student at Sinapoli College after graduating secondary school this year.
About AIF's Learning and Migration Program (LAMP) Program
AIF's LAMP program provides migrant children and neglected rural communities across India with quality education through age-appropriate learning and innovative teaching methods to keep children in school and away from a life of exploitative manual child labor. LAMP educates and nurtures by providing resources that enable children to attend local schools, as well as safe and structured care in seasonal residential hostels during migration season. Since 2003, LAMP has reached 280,000 children, created 935 seasonal hostels, and made a lasting difference in 700 villages across six states in India.
About the American India Foundation
The American India Foundation is committed to catalyzing social and economic change in India and building a lasting bridge between the United States and India through high-impact interventions in education, livelihoods, public health, and leadership development, with a particular emphasis on empowering girls and women to achieve gender equity. Working closely with local communities, AIF partners with NGOs to develop and test innovative solutions and with governments to create and scale sustainable impact. Founded in 2001 at the initiative of President Bill Clinton following a request from Prime Minister Vajpayee, AIF has impacted the lives of 2.3 million of India's poor and aims to reach 5 million by 2018.
Drew Foxman, Senior Director, Communications
408.916.1978 | Email
SOURCE American India Foundation