15th Anniversary Celebrations

15th Anniversary Celebrations

Gala Dinner September 15, 2018 at the View

Event Sponsors  Madhu mingling with Guests  Madhu with Guests  Board Members  Victory Arts Foundation Dancers  Welcvome Desk     Lisa with Friends  Madhu with Friends  The Comedian  Madhu with HUGGS' Friend

A celebration to remember!   

Over a hundred friends of HUGGS gathered on the sun drenched verandah of the View in North Vancouver, chatting together over wine and appys….waiting to enjoy the West Coast Buffet dinner and the anticipated entertainment.

The sounds of music and dance called us in, and we were caught up in the enthusiasm of the young people of "Dance for Good" from the Victory Arts Foundation.   Volunteers had created a beautiful ambience in the dining area … purple and silver tables …. pictures of HUGGS’ students decorated the walls … and an attractive Silent Auction tempted us. 

HUGGS’ Director, Nick Bodie welcomed us to the 15th anniversary of HUGGS.  The highlight of the evening was the presentation by Madhulatha, HUGGS outstanding coordinator, who had come from India to receive the Leadership Award of Excellence from the BC Council of International Cooperation.    The work of HUGGS became alive as we saw pictures and heard stories of students whose lives are being transformed because the gift of education is being  made available to them. 

Lisa Heel, founder of HUGGS, was present, filled with gratitude for how her little organization had influenced the lives of 100 young people over these 15 years

HUGGS is grateful to the many volunteers who presented this wonderful evening, especially the Samji family who were our generous sponsors, to Erica Sigurdsson from CBC Debaters for her hilarious monologue, and to the anonymous friend who challenged us to match her donation of $15,000! 

Celebrating the opportunity to CHANGE THE STATS!

Dancer at Change the Stats Event  Leela with Friend  Change the Stats Volunteers  

 Madhu with Telegu Friends   Change the Stats Volunteers

On September 29th 2018, HUGGS' friend, Leela Varanasi, organized an event in Vancouver that was attended by over a hundred well-wishers of our mission: “to provide underprivileged students in India with the opportunity to further their education, enabling them to contribute more effectively to their families and communities.”

Attendees enjoyed an evening of musical presentations and talented dancers, and generously donated their time and money for the cause. Another amazing fact is that program was put together by a group of selfless volunteers who also cooked an incredible dinner at the lovely Sathya Sai Community Centre, which provided its facilities for the night.

Coming from a world of privilege in Canada, it can be easy to lose perspective on the challenges faced by young kids all over the world, who given the opportunity can accomplish great things. This is why HUGGS exists; to provide the necessary support and resources for more brilliant students like Vivekavathi and Lalitha to reach their potential.

That evening, friends of Leela became friends of HUGGS and raised over $7,000!   A special friend of HUGGS is matching all donation, doubling the impact of each dollar!!


Article provided by Sarath Nanduri, Friend of HUGGS'


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HUGGS Students

The mission of HUGGS Canada is to provide underprivileged students in India with the opportunity to further their education, enabling them to contribute more effectively to their families and communities.


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