Oct 01, 2015

Phoenix Community Converges at 2015 Gala


On September 19, 2015, Pratham Phoenix celebrated 20 years of providing quality education to India’s children with a successful gala at the Airport Marriott, which raised $60,000.

“Who will educate our children if not us?” asked keynote speaker Mari Koerner, dean of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. She stressed a universal responsibility for helping underprivileged children, a notion reinforced by Fountain Hills Mayor Linda Kavanagh, who said that an education and the ability to read are the greatest gifts that we can give our children.

Pratham means “first,” and we put education first for every child. Since its inception 20 years ago, Pratham has reached 40 million children and youth through our innovative literacy and vocational training programs. The funds raised from the event will help set up 1,000 libraries across rural India, giving underserved communities access to books.

Among the 350 community members who attended the gala were: State Representative John Kavanagh, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, President of Mesa Community College Dr. Shouan Pan, Arizona Commissioner Tom Forese and WNBA star Adrian Williams Strong.

The Bollywood-themed evening included a decadent Indian dinner, a glamorous fashion show by Nazila Couture, music from DJ Isaac and a round of Dancing with the Stars—Bollywood Edition. Dance participants Dr. Patel, Dr. Borden, Dr. Sharma, Selene Nelson and Richie Ressel danced their hearts out, but Dr. Nair won the friendly competition. Catch a glimpse of the festivities below and view more photos here.