Raises US$ 4500 for a Humanitarian Cause

A fund-raiser aimed at raising money to train and deploy mine detection dogs in the north and east of Sri Lanka was held in Washington DC on Thursday, December 2nd, 2004. The event was targeted at young American professionals in the nation’s capital. Mr. Asoka Ranaweera, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Grid2Grid “Networks Powered by People”, organized the event. The beneficiaries of the fund-raiser were the Marshall Legacy Institute and the Sri Lanka Association of Greater Washington. The Marshall Legacy Institute trains and deploys mine detection dogs throughout the world. The Sri Lanka Association of Greater Washington is currently raising money to deploy mine-sniffing dogs; in addition, to those already deployed in Sri Lanka through previous fund-raising efforts.

The event took place at the Childe Harold restaurant in Dupont Circle in Northwest Washington. The guests of honor were His Excellency Devinda Subasinghe, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States and Mrs. Helga Wurzer-Subasinghe, Mr. Anthony Lake, former National Security Advisor to President Clinton and Chairman of the Marshall Legacy Institute, Mr. Perry Baltimore, President of the Marshall Legacy Institute, and Mr. Nihal Goonewardene, President of the Sri Lanka Association of Greater Washington.

Several corporate sponsors and benefactors provided seed financing for the event. The corporate sponsors were Ms. Fatimah LeTellier, Marketing Director, Travel Document Systems, Mr. Aric Moore, President of AmericanMasterWorks, Mr. Bill Boyle, Vice President, Federal Parking, Mr. Fatih Erdem and Mr. Gorkhan Erdem, Erdem Holding and Mr. Jason Epstein, Southfive Strategies. Mr. Hamid Kamvar owner of the Childe Harold restaurant provided facilities, food, and staff for the event. Mr. Ryan Kelly, Chief Financial Officer, Metropolitan Partners was one of five benefactors that provided monetary support. Finally, Mr. Shahin Shikhaliyev provided in-kind web design services for the invitation.

Mr. Anthony Lake and Mr. Perry Baltimore of the Marshall Legacy Institute made keynote speeches and other speakers included Mr. Asoka Ranaweera, Mr. Nihal Goonewardene and Mr. Oliver Subasinghe.

A large number of Americans who were not previously exposed to Sri Lanka gained valuable insight about the country and the challenges of pursuing peace. Attendees gave generously throughout the evening. Approximately $1,500.00 was raised prior to the event through corporate sponsorship and contributions from benefactors. At the event itself, approximately $3,000.00 was raised. The total raised for the evening was $4,500.00.

The fund-raiser demonstrated the generous spirit of Americans and their interests in supporting charitable humanitarian causes throughout the world in general and in Sri Lanka in particular. It also showed that there is a strong cultural component to the bilateral relationship between the US and Sri Lanka. The event’s success ultimately rested on the enthusiastic support shown by the American professionals in Washington DC towards Sri Lanka and the hopes and aspirations of its people for peace.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

02 December 2004


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