I have a love-hate relationship with the news. On one hand it keeps us informed about important issues around the world, but on the other, it moves so quickly – there is always a new story to demand our attention. But even as new disasters appear on our screens, it’s important not to forget about people who still need our help, like those in Nepal.
As I was destined to run the Everest Marathon in May 2015, Nepal has a very special place in my heart. After the earthquakes hit and the Marathon was cancelled, I decided to compete in 2016 and focus my energy on raising awareness and funds for Nepalese in need.
On September 8th 2015 my partner Ceri Jenkins and I organised our first event: an evening at Everest Dine in Parnell. The evening was a great success – 67 guests dined at this authentic Nepalese restaurant, experiencing award-winning cuisine and impeccable service from the dedicated and exceptional staff.
All proceeds from the evening went towards the Himalayan Trust to help with the relief efforts, which began as soon as the earthquakes struck and haven’t stopped since. News reports have uncovered that 8 million people across Nepal have been affected by the April earthquake. Let that sink in a little bit: 8 million people. That’s nearly twice the population of New Zealand.
Over 2.8 million people have had their homes completely destroyed – more than the population of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington combined. This 7.8M earthquake has claimed over 9,000 lives and injured more than 23,000.
With this in mind, the dinner was one of many events so many people around the world have organised to contribute to the relief efforts of numerous non-profit organisations. Everyone who attended our Everest Dine fundraiser did something amazing for the Nepalese people: this one event alone raised more than $2,400. All profits were immediately transferred to the Himalayan Trust via Givealittle just 24 hours after the event.
Raju, the Managing Director of Everest Dine, supported the fundraising by minimising costs per guest to maximise donations on the evening, with dining raising $1,515. Guests then had the opportunity to bid for donated items which raised an additional $580.
Generous donors who could not make it on the night donated an additional $555 through the Givealittle page, which brought the final amount to over $2,650.
This goes to show how the small efforts of many can make such a positive impact – the cost of one dinner will make an important difference to the Nepal rebuild.
Prue Smith from the Himalayan Trust said: “I hugely appreciate the amazing efforts you and Ceri are making to help us with this. The planning process is very intense – and we are working really hard to make every dollar count.”
Guests who shared this evening with Ceri and I were equally responsible for making the event a huge success and we will be forever grateful we got to meet so many wonderful people.
Tens of thousands of people are still living outdoors in makeshift shelters as the monsoon intensifies. Food shortages have been reported. Relief efforts are being further hampered by on-going rain and flash floods. Roads from China are still impassable due to earthquake damage and protesters blocking roads up from India because of the new constitution being drafted by the government of Nepal. This will slow the rebuild due to a shortage of materials coming in by road.
With all this in mind the suffering is not over. The media has exhausted the Nepal earthquake and recently we would be very lucky to see any updates or reports of the suffering on the 6 o’clock news. I’m hoping events as this will continue to be created in support of organisations such as the Himalayan Trust. Every little bit will continue to help bring peace to this beautiful country.
Save the date: I am hosting another fundraiser next month to raise funds for 9 widows who have lost their husbands or children as a result of them working as Sherpas in Nepal.
If you would like to support this important cause, you are warmly invited to my fundraising screening of the film Everest in Newmarket on Monday 5 October at 6pm.
Everyone who attended the Everest Dine event made a huge difference to the Nepal rebuild, however I would like to formally thank the following organisations for their generous donations and support: Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy, Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari and of course Everest Dine. Your contributions to the auction resulted in hundreds of extra dollars being raised and I cannot thank you enough.