Ruchira Gupta Visits Katonah
On the evening of October 11th, Apne Aap founder Ruchira Gupta presented to a standing-room only crowd at the Katonah Village Library, sharing her perspective on the fight against modern-day slavery and sex trafficking. The presentation was held on the first annual International Day of the Girl, and was registered as participating event.
The powerful speech was part of an event sponsored by KEEP, the Katonah Education Exchange Program, a local grassroots organization in its second year. After the speech, a wine-and-cheese reception was held, made possible by donations from a corps of KEEP supporters who donated everything from napkins to platters. The reception was lively, with many questions and comments for the Ms. Gupta, the two Apne Aap representatives, and the seven KEEP founders.
The event raised more than $2200, which is one-fifth of KEEP’s annual fundraising goal of $10,800. All funds raised are part of a grant to Apne Aap, supporting the education of 130 girls, ages 10 to 16, in northern India. At the event, KEEP founder Ruthie Rosenberg introduced the group and explained their mission: Keeping Girls in School.
After Ms. Gupta’s speech, another KEEP founder, Cynthia Braun, described several fundraising initiatives including a new “KEEP the Change” program, led by four students at John Jay High School—Susannah Rogers, Emily Pickup, Olivia Paulhac and Helen Eifert—who call their group Students for KEEP. The students designed donation containers that are available to merchants for placement near checkout. At the evening’s reception, Don Healy, owner of Out of the Blue in Mount Kisco, became the first merchant to request a can. Dr. Braun also described the gift cards KEEP sells, each supporting one girl for one month at a cost of $10. The cards are available at Ebba in Katonah, Gypsy Roots in Cross River, and now at Out of the Blue in Mount Kisco.
Prior to the event, KEEP had raised $5,940 toward its annual goal, representing 55 percent of the total. All event expenses are donated by KEEP founders and supporters, allowing the full $2,200 raised to go directly to the Apne Aap grant. KEEP has now reached 68 percent of its goal for the year, leaving $3,500 remaining to raise before the fiscal year ends on May 1, 2013.