Pongal-Republic Day 2006

Pongal/Sankranti celebrations were organized in Walpole High School, Walpole, MA (USA) on Sunday, 15 Jan 2006. The event started off with Spelling Bee, Coloring, and Art contests for kids in different age groups, and Rangoli contest for ladies. These were followed by nearly 2 hrs of cultural programs, which included classical dances like Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi, modern dances to movie songs, vocal renderings of classical as well as movie songs, which were all well received by the audience. We have received numerous appreciations for the quality of programs and for the delicious food prepared by our volunteers.

Tirupati Prasad(laddu), parents & grand parent's blessings, quality performances, active participation of the guests, kid's enthusiasm in competing for contests, volunteer's dedication and the noble intentions behind the cause gave us the energy and strength to make this event successful and memorable.

Around 310 people attended and more than $5,000.00 was pledged during this event. Those who could not attend the event due to inclement weather have pledged their contribution over phone. Some of the donations were eligible for 100% matching gift programs from the employers. In addition to the pledged amount, many people have expressed their intentions to contribute more money and time for supporting the Bighelp's noble cause in future.

We were pleased to offer Samar (www.samarinfo.org) yet another chance to organize a Bone marrow drive during this event to find the matching bone marrow for patients suffering from Leukemia. Several people have registered and gave their blood samples.

Bighelp started the "Best Volunteer of the Award" to show its gratitude to its volunteer base. This was presented to Mr. Vijay Panchakshari this year for making significant contribution during the year 2005.

Total 38 children participated in coloring contest, 45 children in Spelling Bee, 12 children in Art, and 8 ladies in Rangoli contest. It was very difficult task for us to choose the winners for all contests among the highly talented participants. Coloring and Art work was judged fairly by the experienced lecturers who were in USA for a visit and not relatives of any of the contestants. Spelling Bee and Coloring contest winners were decided by the respective hosts who organized each level of these contests. Please click here to see the list of winners.

All visiting grand parents were invited on to the stage as 'Honorary Guests' for prize and certificate distribution. We thank them for their presence and patience.

Our sincere thanks to all guests, volunteers, media representatives, cultural programs directors, parents and kids for their cooperation and contribution in making this event a grand success and memorable. We are grateful for the good wishes and contributions sent by people who could not be there that day.

With your continued and constant support, Bighelp will be able to give many more deserving children a chance at a better life.

With best regards,
Chand Pasha (president) & Bighelp team