IRVINE, CA - Glitz and glamour came together to commemorate twenty five years of an organization as well as to raise money for the altruistic causes supported by it. After the social hour in the lobby area, with people enjoying appetizers and listening to the soothing saxophone music played by Ramesh Maraj,
Sona Shah, Vice President of Sahara, and Reshma Block, Board President, were the two emcees of the evening. Shah started off with an introduction and history of the organization where she detailed the social work that the group engages in.
Messages of support came in from Kunal Nayyar – famously known as Rajesh Koothrappali from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ – in a video message where he urged all to donate in support of the work being done by Sahara. A video message of Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam too, was played.
Longtime supporters of Sahara, Rika and Manu Shah of Sarva Mangal Family Trust, came on stage to thank the founders, and speak about the passions and commitments that drive Sahara. Sahara’s founders were five clinical social workers Chandrabala Alamshaw, Rusi Alamshaw, Sheela Mehta, Charu Mody, Smita Patel and two physicians Pratibha Patel and Sulochana Trivedi.
The emotional moments of the evening came when survivors narrated the dire and desperate circumstances that Sahara had rescued them from. The sense of appreciation and gratitude for the organization was palpable.
The evening raised a combined total of $500,000 from sponsorships, cash pledges, donations, and the live auction. The live auction had momentum and was a hit, with the most popular item being the Bordeaux Experience which includes a 6-night-stay at the luxury property near Bordeaux, France. Final bid for this item was over $3,000. Some of the other items available for auction were singer Sonu Nigam’s autographed guitar along with four signed CDs and DVDs; VIP tickets to a Jennifer Lopez concert with backstage meet and greet passes; and two tickets to visit the sets of ‘The Mindy Project’; and many more. Sahara’s current and former board members as well as staff were all called on stage and thanked a small token for their tireless work. The event came to a close with dinner being served and the dance floor being opened for all who wanted to dance the night away.