NEWPORT BEACH, CA - The American India Foundation (AIF) Orange County Chapter commemorated the 10th Anniversary of its Learning and Migration Program (LAMP) at its 2nd Annual Gala at hotel Fairmont here on March 7. More than 250 guests, including philanthropists, entrepreneurs and...
Kholsa said the period between 1975-1980 was the golden age in the US as the country was predominately middle class. Rich people were only 9% and society was an ideal society as per Aristotle’s view that advocated small rich and poor class and very large middle class. Our role as a community should be to give back to the society as much as we can to level the disparity. “Lack of money leads to the lack of opportunities even in the field of education and imparting education was the most powerful tool to get the job done”, he said.
Jasobanti Mahananda, a beneficiary of Learning and Migration Program (LAMP) from Brahmaniguda village of Odisha in India, who came especially for the event, said her parents were migrant laborers and she used to travel with them and work at the same site where her parents used to work since five years of age. Mahananda, who is now an undergraduate student at the local college, said in 2005 she started getting help from AIF and lived in the hostel facility provided by the AIF where they used to get four meals a day in addition to help in her studies. She thanked AIF for what they aid for her andother happy beneficiaries of her village. She got a standing ovation from the audience.
Neil Grover of AIF OC chapter while introducing the awardees said the awards were given to individuals in recognition of overcoming challenging beginnings in life and then climbing to the top of their fields with outstanding endeavors in giving back to others. Grover said in honor of their role in advancing the human rights of all children to equal education opportunities, it was a great tribute to honor two of Southern California’s most dedicated and innovative philanthropists – Glenn and Mindy Stearns
Recently named “Woman of the Year,” Mindy Stearns earned the title through her tireless efforts to support and bring awareness to various charity organizations throughout Southern California. Glenn and Mindy founded the Stearns Family Charitable Foundation and the ‘Live Changing Lives’ Gala which has become the premiere Charity Gala in Orange County raising close to $4 million in four years.
Founder and Chairman of Stearns Lending and Co-Founder of Indi.com, Glenn in his address said there were 800 million people in India living under 2 dollars a day, and over 300 million people living on less then 66 cents a day. He said those people also had similar ability to succeed if provided the opportunity.
Mindi while quoting an old Indian tradition, said as the body was made up of different parts; all moral creatures must depend on each other. Education was the gift that no one can take away and it gives back to the giver as well.
AIF CEO Ravi Kumar who came from New York for the event while discussing the details of charity work done by the organization, said under the LAMP program, 1100 villages had been adapted and 350,000 students had been reached and put back to the schools where they belong. 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. 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,” remarked Grewal.
Zack Krone from California Coast Auctions led a stunning live auction and fundraising drive that raised $200,000 dedicated to AIF’s LAMP program. Award-winning New York-based comedian Anish Shah emceed the event.