Priya Tandon believes in giving back and paying it forward at the same time.
Tandon — a Creative Communications student at Red River College — is the main organizer of Tonight We Are One! — an awareness and fundraising event to raise money for One! International Poverty Relief, a non-profit organization that teaches literacy to children in the slums of Mumbai (also known as Bombay), as well as provide clothing, medical and nutritional help so the kids can focus on their education.
The fundraiser will be held on Fri., Jan 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Norwood Community Centre (87 Walmer St.) and feature entertainment by Crestview-based Manohar Performing Arts of Canada, sitarist Joshua Stanton and a Bollywood-related performance, Tandon said. Local radio personality Adam West will be MC and guest of honour will be Tania Spilchen, founder of One! The food is sponsored by Clay Oven.
During the months of planning for the event, Tandon has been supported by a committee — Michelle Gazze, Jancey Francis, Richa Tandon and Wajihah Mughal — that has helped sell tickets, arrange sponsorship packages and offer continued support, she said.
In an academic sense, Tandon organized the event because students in the program are required to complete a year-long Independent Professional Project (IPP) in order to graduate: "This event made perfect sense," she said.
On a personal level, the Richmond West resident said she is holding the fundraiser to give back to the community that has given her so much.
"Being born in India and raised in Canada, it was a challenge to maintain both the Canadian and East Indian culture, but because there’s such a strong South Asian community in Winnipeg, I was able to do that," Tandon said.
"Not only that, but I want to be able to see how much a small donation can go so far to a child and family. People should buy tickets because, unfortunately, we don’t all have the opportunity to make our way to different countries and support others in need. This is one of the ways people can do so without having to travel so far."
Tandon added her parents are the inspiration behind the event.
"They have always encouraged my sister and I to value education and to always give back to others. They have ingrained it in our minds to always appreciate what we’ve been given, to respect others and to always fight for what we believe in," she said.
"Hence, I’m putting on this event to be able to give the same opportunities I’ve been blessed with to these beautiful young children who have someone to fight for them to do and be better in life."
Tickets are $30, which includes appetizers, dinner and dessert. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/events/425288030877010/?ref=22.