Last Tuesday I dusted off my salwar kameez outfit from Pakistan, hopped on a plane with executive director Martha Hopewell of Save One Life, our child sponsorship nonprofit, and went to New York City for a wonderful fundraiser called “Bollywood Chic,” hosted in the art studio of Hunt Slonem.
The studio takes your breath away: cavernous at 15,000 sf, and filled from ceiling to floor with framed art, statues, and even a museum quality collection of butterflies that was stunning. In the center of the studio: bird cages filled with colorful macaws and doves. Hunt’s specialty is painting birds; you can see his famed parrots on a new Tiffany set of serving ware. The birds are raucous when not being fawned over; they demand attention by screeching. This added an exotic flavor to the evening!
How did we snag the goodwill of an artist of Hunt’s calibre? Through board member Tara Reddi, who is vice president of the Marlborough Gallery in New York, and has a nephew with hemophilia in India.
Guests arrived around 6:30 and stayed till 9, sampling some wonderful Indian-style food, and wine at our bar, and listening to Bollywood soundtrack. Guests could wander freely throughout the studio, which is subdivided into different rooms, each with a theme. The Lincoln room is filled with Hunt’s portraits of Lincoln in many colors. Another room is filled top to bottom with framed paintings of rabbits. Another room is filled with Greek or Italian statues. Another room contained a massive round table and filled with candles, looking like an invitation to a seance! Guests were really intrigued by the decor!
We were pleased to have with us Dr. Ranjan Kulkarni from the Nasik Chapter of the Indian Federation of Hemophilia. She is our program partner there, and has enrolled many children with hemophilia in Save One Life. She just happened to be visiting in New Jersey, which worked out perfectly! The fundraiser gave her a chance to meet two other doctors and sponsors: Dr. Lucy and Dr. Shipra, both attired in lovely Indian dresses!
Save One Life now sponsors over 550 children in nine countries, giving them funding that they would normally never receive. Funding is used for transportation to clinic, to buy medicine, and to pay school fees. The nonprofits that administer the program–our program partners–check in regularly with the children, to ensure they are doing well. So more than just a charity, we are guaranteeing these kids get seen, are known and are helped.
Our deepest thanks to Hunt Slonem for generously allowing us the privilege and pleasure to spend an evening at his studio. Thanks to Tara Reddi for organizing this marvelous event, which required a lot of hard work. Thanks to all the guests who showed up despite the dreary weather, many of whom were friends and patrons of Tara’s and Hunt, and who supported the fundraiser. And thanks to my friends at NHF, whom I was so happy to see present!
Many thanks to two companies who helped underwrite the event: CSL Behring and Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals. All proceeds of the event will go towards our India program, where the bulk of our beneficiaries are located. I’ll be traveling to India in September to check on our program and will be sure to keep everyone posted. Namaste!
For more information or to sponsor a child in need: www.SaveOneLife.net
Also see: www.cslbehring.com, www.inspirationbio.com, www.marlboroughgallery.com