Dec 01, 2016

Sold-Out Pratham Phoenix Gala Funds Libraries For India’s Children


On September 17, 2016, Pratham Phoenix held their annual fundraising gala at the Scottsdale Hilton ballroom, raising an impressive $200,000 for Pratham’s library program.

The sold-out evening was a wonderful balance of the serious and lighthearted, ensuring the 600 attendees had a good time while pledging their commitment to Pratham’s mission of “every child in school and learning well.”

Emcees Neha Mallik, head of the E-Commerce team at MARS Inc; Dr. Nagesh Gidwani, a practicing dentist; and Lina De Florias, weekend anchor for KTVK Channel 3, hosted the glitzy black-tie affair, which also honored local activist Girija Krishnamurthy for her work over the last decade with the Gila River Native American tribe.

Dr. Madhav Chavan, co-founder of Pratham, was the keynote speaker and highlighted the importance of libraries in sustaining the learning gains made through Pratham’s learning camps. Nuzhat Malik, head of Pratham’s literacy programs for Uttar Pradesh, gave a poignant speech, vividly describing the impact Pratham made on her life and the live’s of millions of children in her state. Nine-year-old Arjun Mosur made an impassioned plea, reminding the audience that $25 is all it takes to educate a child in India.

The highlight of the gala was the Dancing with the Stars competition, where six talented performers from the community competed for the bragging rights of best dancer. Competitors Andrew Plattner, partner at Sherman & Howard; Adrian Strong, ex-Phoenix Mercury WNBA player; Dr. Meghna Thacker, naturopathic physician; Jeni Panhorst, Director of Strategy and Planning for Intel; Stephanie Beebe, independent associate at Isagenix; and Dr. Parag Chokshi, a gastroenterologist, practiced all summer and delighted the audience with their performances. Dr. Chokshi was declared the winner for 2016, which was truly well deserved.

The event was a tremendous success thanks to the dedication and hard work of the Pratham Phoenix Board, volunteers and supporters.

See more photos from the memorable event.