On September 11, 2016, AIM FOR SEVA /AIM TO EDUCATE held its 15th and most successful gala to date. Over 870 people attended the event held at the Pearson Convention Centre in Brampton.
Attendees were treated to mouthwatering appetizers in the foyer, while browsing the large selection of silent auction items such as luxury Muskoka getaways and sports memorabilia commemorating the late Muhammad Ali.
The programme started with the beautiful voices of Vishal Luthra and Darshana Thakar singing the AIM anthem accompanied by Hasheel Lodhia on tabla and Gurinder Singh on harmonium. The energetic Shiamak Dawar Troupe entertained the audience with 2 lively pieces. Kasi Rao was the charismatic MC who had a fantastic stage presence and kept an astute finger on the pulse of the crowd. A delicious sit down dinner was provided by The Host.
Generous donations made this year by several members of the community were acknowledged. Mr. Srini Gollapudi announced his commitment to donate a hostel. Mr. Anand Jain and family also donated a hostel. These are each valued at $160,000 Cdn.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement of a $2,000,000 endowment fund by businessman and philanthropist Mr. Inder Sharma. The money is donated for a high school for girls in Khategaon in rural Madhya Pradesh. In a videotaped speech, Mr. Sharma said, “I feel great. It is fantastic. I know Prabha (his first wife who passed away in 2000) is watching from heaven and I know nothing would give her more joy than to note that the Sharma family is honored to support the Khategaon girls school.”
The Khategaon school had been previously donated by Toronto-based Mike Lakhani and family a few years ago. It is run by AIM and is in need of renovations and upgrades.
Overall, the AIM for SEVA gala raised in 1 night over $2.6 million dollars through the hostel and endowment funds as well as the silent/live auction and sale of raffle tickets.
The AIM FOR SEVA Toronto chapter was founded 15 years ago by Dr. Terry and Nimmi Papneja.
Before the gala, $4.4 million dollars had already been raised, which has led to the building of 22 hostels in India housing 50 students each. Moreover, donations from the Toronto chapter alone support the education of over 600 children.
Apart from the gala, other fundraising events, which have been very successful on an annual basis, are the Maharaja Golf Tournament, the Bike to Educate Bikeathon, the Mississauga AIM to Educate Walkathon, and the Mix and Mingle cocktail party.
For further information on AIM for SEVA and how you can help with your time and financial support, please visit their website: