In 2006 I became acquainted with SAHELI – a nonprofit that provides direct services to families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault or trafficking. They also provide education about these issues to a community that culturally does not talk about these topics in public. I was honored to join their Board of Directors and served one term before life commitments required that I make the hard choice of stepping down in 2010.
This last month, SAHELI was in the throes of the final stages of preparation for their annual fundraiser The Silk Road – an Asian Epicurean Journey, a food and wine event. It is an amazing event, an incredible opportunity to sample dishes from different regions of Asia – and to explore each region’s food with a wine, specifically chosen by guest sommeliers.
The Executive Director asked me to help with event planning, set up and event day logistics and promotion for ticket sales for the event. She and her incredible staff of 10 were managing an event they hoped would sell out with 135 guests – in addition to the actual work of the programs SAHELI has for the community. They are an incredibly dedicated staff.
The night was amazing…
- The event sold out – there were no tickets available to be sold at the door as of the morning of the day before the event!
- Our guest wine experts were Rae Wilson and Claudia Alarcón – two amazing women doing lots of fun things with wine.
- There were courses that included sampling of foods from Japan, China, Thailand, India, Korea, Nepal, and the Middle East! Food was provided by local restaurants like Kome and Koriente.
- Zhi Tea provided a Tea Bar with teas specifically chosen for the menu.
- The incredible silent auction featured amazing packages and jewelry.
- There was even some Bollywood-style dancing!
The entire event raised more than $14,000 – the most it has raised in the four years SAHELI has been doing it and about 30% more than last year. Oh, and I had my first emcee gig… which was weird, but also kind of fun!