BY BILL PHILLIPS
It wasn’t originally envisioned to be as big an event as it is.
However, Taste of India turned out to be a huge event right from its inaugural feast in 2010.
“We just decided to go big,” says Kim Gill, one of organizers of the Yellowhead Rotary Club’s annual fundraiser. “We weren’t sure how it would turn out, but we decided to make it a Bollywood-style creation, people would get dressed up, get some great food and great entertainment.”
The event was an immediate hit and has become one of the city’s must-attend events of the winter season. Mark February 24, 2018 on your calendar.
“I like to see the community get together and have one thing in common, they just want to raise money for the community and for causes abroad,” says Gill. “We raise money for countries that are lacking resources.”
Locally, funds raised have gone towards the School District 57 meal program, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Prince George, AiMHi, Elizabeth Fry, and New Hope Society.
Internationally funds have gone to Rotary’s attempt to eradicate polio across the globe. Funds have also gone to help schools in India, providing water and sanitation services, as well as classroom furniture. In one school, the funds paid for a dining hall and a library.
“Lots of things to do with youth and children,” said Gill. “The very first time we did this and we got pictures back from these little kids that were actually sitting on furniture and having running water, and toilets, and sinks, I literally cried. It was such a touching thing that we actually made a difference in these kids’ lives, things we take for granted here.”
Over the eight years of the Taste of India the Yellowhead Rotary Club has raised $375,000 and it hoping to get over the $400,000 mark this year.
Delhi to Dublin will be performing and there will also be many great items auctioned off.
“The community support has been excellent over the years,” says Janine Fraser, co-organizer. “We reach out for financial contributions and sponsorships and we’ve got lots of great sponsors who come back every year along with new ones.”
Silent auction items are also donated by local businesses. You never know what you can get if you just bid.
“Year after year, people step up and donate the items,” says Fraser.
The Taste of India also relies on a lot of volunteer help, mostly from the Yellowhead Rotary Club. On the actual night of the event, it’s all hands on deck for club members.
One of the main sponsors this year is the Brink Group of Companies.
“We are just delighted to be one of the many sponsors,” says John Brink. “It’s such a good cause. It fits with where we want to be.”
Set your calendar for February 24, 2018 for A Taste of India. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Books and Company or online through Theatre North West. Click here.