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Indian evening raises over £2,000 for Garson-based charity STOP International
A Garston-based international charity which helps children in orphanages in Southern India has raised more than £2,000 thanks to an evening of Indian food and entertainment, and an auction of promises attended by 80 people.
STOP International was founded by Kish Poddar, a teacher who lives and works in Garston.
Arriving in Watford as a schoolboy with his family he still maintains his links with his home country.
Having originally agreed to get a party of helpers together to build a chicken house for an orphanage in Tamil Nadu in 2000, he was moved by the extent of the need of the many local orphanages in the area to set up STOP International, standing for "Save the Orphans Please"
Since this early beginning he has helped several orphanages in the area with increasingly ambitious projects, and in 2007 Watford Observer readers helped by sending him their old watches which he gave to the orphans.
During the evening Mr Poddar outlined his next humanitarian project to take place in the summer which is setting up a sewing room at the Vocational Training Centre in one of the orphanages he helps. Asking for volunteers to accompany him, paying their own expenses, he was pleased to note a positive response from some of those present.
The fund-raising evening, which took place at Stanborough Park Church in Garston, on Saturday was organised by Pat Walton one of the charity’s Trustees.
The evening consisted of a three-course vegetarian meal with spoof "Bollywood-style" dancing performed between courses by four church members, one of whom used to live in the area where the orphanages are situated.
Following the meal there was an auction of promises which sparked some lively bidding for 15 lots including: five hours of gardening, an Indian meal for six, gliding, a spring clean, theatre tokens, sailing in the Mediterranean, a handyman offer, website development, a week in north Wales for 6, private tuition, decorative plates, birthday cakes and an antique coffee table.
The evening concluded with a final repeat Bollywood performance - where guests paid to see some members of the organising team join the performance raising a further £90 and cheers from the audience.