Pongal-Republic Day 2009

Bighelp Pongal/Republic Day Celebrations 2009 by Bighelp for Education Event Report.

Bighelp for Education held its 6th annual fundraiser "Pongal - Republic day Celebrations 2009" on Jan 10, 2009. This event was by far the most colorful and successful events held by Bighelp, be it in terms of the variety in cultural programs, close calls in Rangoli and Art competitions, tie breakers in Spelling bee, number of attendees, or the amount raised in donations.

The 8-hour marathon program started with contests in Spelling, Rangoli, Art and Coloring where kids and adults alike participated with enthusiasm sometimes making it very difficult for the judges to choose the best from the best. Cultural programs followed the contests after all that were present paid a moment's silent tribute to Mumbai's terror victims. The programs were jump started uniquely by a 3-year-old girl's rendition of National Song "Vandemataram". This was the beginning of 2.5 hour-long parade of talent, skill, hard work, enthusiasm, positive attitude, and on top of all, a willingness to help kids who need the help. The cultural programs included a colorful mix of songs and dances, devotional and filmy, classical and modern, by children aged between 4 and 14. All were very well received by the audience. For the first time, the cultural programs were emceed by a group of young high school and college students, who did a wonderful job.

This year, the President of Bighelp, in lieu of a speech chose to show the audience a presentation to showcase the beginning and developmental milestones of the organization, thanked them for the support and appealed on behalf of the needy children. The audience responded warmly to this presentation.

The cultural programs ended with honoring the contest winners and the honors were bestowed by Mrs. Sarojin Maturi, Executive Director of Bighelp in India, and Mr. Ravi Uppalapati of Eagle Investment Systems. The best Volunteer award for the 2008 was presented to Mr. Vijay Panchakshari. Certificates of participation were awarded to all cultural program participants to acknowledge their efforts and to thank them. A sumptuous dinner was served to all guests after this.

Here are a few facts about the event:

  • Number of attendees: 820
  • Number kids participated in Spelling Bee Contest: 145
  • Number of kids participated in Coloring Contest: 73
  • Number of kids participated in Art Contest: 65
  • Number of ladies participated in Rangoli Contest: 28
  • Number of kids participated in Stage Performances: 148
  • Funds Raised during the event: $10,121

Bighelp takes this opportunity to thank all its volunteers, attendees, program and contest participants for making this event a memorable success and urges all to extend the same helping hand to the children in need in the future too.