Photo by Chung Chow
It was a record-setting 30th anniversary gala for the Richmond Sunrise Rotary Club on Friday night.
Close to $130,000 was raised in just a few hours at the sold out black-tie, Return-to-Bollywood-themed event as 420 generous locals, including local dignitaries and politicians, gathered for a great cause and a few hours of good food and fun at the Riverside Banquet Hall’s Grand Ballroom in East Richmond.
Man-about-town social columnist Fred Lee served as the master of ceremonies for the evening.
“People come for the first time, and they say ‘Wow’,” said Kal Mahal, of Kalberry Farms, who for the second year served as the auction chair.
The nearly $130,000 raised brings the total over the past two years to about $250,000 benefitting local charities and causes, Mahal said.
A Richmond Society for Community Living independent living initiative was the beneficiary of $31,000 in giving near the end of the gala. Last year it was the Richmond Therapeutic Riding Association.
Mahal said the money was raised through silent and live auctions, ticket sales, and the end-of-evening charitable bidding.
“It was a great event, and I just wanted to thank all the locals for supporting us,” Mahal said.
This year, $15,000 will be directed to provide scholarships for students at Richmond schools, up from $10,000 last year, he said.
Last year, donations were also made to Pathways Clubhouse, Morocco School, a water bottle filling station effort and Northshore Search and Rescue.