Earthquake Relief Fundraiser brings in more than $15K 

January 28, 2010 

It was labeled an Evening of Music and Dance to raise funds for victims of the Haiti earthquake. But it was more than that. It was an evening of unity, generosity, and triumph of the humanitarian spirit. On January 24, the Nrithyanjali Institute of Dance, supported by the North Brunswick Township and Board of Education, helped raise more than $15,000 for those affected by the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010. 

The event was held at North Brunswick High School in North Brunswick, NJ. Beginning with renditions of the American and Haitian national anthems, the program featured popular music by the West Windsor-Plainsboro's female a cappella group Tickled Pink.  Ramya Ramnarayan, the artistic director of Nrithyanjali, presented an hour long performance with vibrant dance numbers in the margam format. Following this, Yuva Sangeetha Lahiri presented Indian classical music, a slide show presentation on Haiti by the 4-H Indian Langur Club, and light music by the Hidden Gems.

Several Haitian-Americans from the Central Jersey area were in attendance and spoke about their loss and how the donations would help not only to rebuild their schools, hospitals, and homes, but also to restore their culture and spirit. Luc Oliviere, an IT professional with L&T Infotech, soberly reminded the audience that the situation on the ground is much worse than the photographs in the newspapers and on the Internet reveal. The Reverend Moses Williams led the audience in a prayer that he hoped would spiritually link them with those in need in Haiti. Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula  commended Nrithyanjali for organizing such a wonderful show in less than a week. 

"We're happy we could raise more than $15,000, given that we mobilized this effort in just 6 days. We are looking to contribute these funds to an organization committed to sustainable growth and development in Haiti. We know that a few weeks from now, this earthquake will be a distant memory in most people's minds. But the Haitian people not only need funds to get through this immediate crisis - they also have to start rebuilding Port-au-Prince and other affected towns and we especially want to help with that effort," said Ram Tirumala, President of Nrithyanjali Institute of Dance. The organization held a similar event after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, helping to raise more than $40,000, half of which was used to build an orphanage for children who lost their families to the tsunami.