March 17, 2013
After consulting astrologers, the weather guys on the Net and vainly trying to get some information from all the scientific establishments we could think of ( to their chagrin ); we fixed 17th May, Sunday as a day of no rain in our heads and went ahead at dashing speed to create a unique Food Carnival.
The idea of getting the community to contribute food which we would sell was an idea that came forth from Jyothi Mehta, all of 27. Born into a community that thinks Food and spends a great deal of time in preparation and presentation she knew she could get all her family and friends to contribute. We went along, all promising to coerce all the generous minded people we knew to swim with us.
We decide d to hold the fete in our own premises which came free so we couldn’t sink, whatever happened. It is our first fund raiser, and we decided to keep within of what we knew was possible given our limited numbers.
The fertile brain of Jyothi added FOOD BOUTS, a Food competition to the arena. This raised expectations and the quality of food donated. One portion would be on display while the rest would be sold. Nights she spent drafting out all the posters, badges, display material, and all the paper work that we needed with the help of cousin Nikita , home for the holidays between terms.
We did all the printing on our printers at home to save costs and displayed them in various shops. Letters were sent to all the Rotary, Lions, and Innerwheel, Jaycees clubs. But most publicity was by world of mouth. We visited the colleges and spoke to students and staff.
For 10 days, we met on alternate afternoons in preparation. We discussed the dishes that were coming in and tried to plan a complete meal.
Sangeetha made caps for all our regular students, made posters outlining our activities which were displayed inspite of fever and a child who was writing the 10th standard exams. Sapna made beautiful handmade cards as thank you tokens while Jyothi supplied the chocolate biscuits. And decorated the space with a few streamers and balloons , climbing up step ladders herself bravely in a saree. Sheela provided the embroidered luggage tags, a token to our judges and coffee and biscuits to all of us at every meet. Sumathi roped in judges, roped in a lot of contribution and kept us on track with meticulous planning. Sheela Nambiar brought in tokens from two local establishments as prizes to the winners of the Food bouts. Sheela Powell arranged for the tents and tables, for coffee and tea and water.
D- Day dawned bright and sunny. And that was the temper throughout inspite of a lot of glitches which happened in spite of lots of planning.
Food came. And kept coming generously. Geetha and Sumathi registered entries and marked dishes with the names on stickers. People brought the food in, stayed to chat and eat and buy. There was a sense of ownership as they had contributed and they felt happy to be part of a good cause. People who had said they would bring something, did bring something , even if it was shop bought biscuits or a bottle of sauce or a couple of bottles of Pepsi.
They ate, bought stuff for people back home ( we ran out of packaging material eventually), and sometimes went back and sent the people at home to have a look.
The judges – of Sullivan Court and Raj Mohan from Meritt College -tasted and judged for a fairly long while. It was tough they said, the quality of food was so good. The winners were cheered and went home very happy. Sapna looked after arrangements and the judges totally.
Mrs. Jayalakshmi, 67, won in the Main Course with her soya stuffed poli. Isha won in the Snacks Category with cheese lollipops. Faranna won the desserts with a Vanilla-Chocolate delight.
Two volunteers from Light and Life School of Photgraphy in Ketti, Shashi and Vaibhav came and took photographs the whole day. Hopefully we will get the professional photographs soon .
Prices were kept low to attract more buyers . By 4, we started packing up and distributed the small amount of food left.
We generated a lot of good will, met our target and made ourselves known to many people of Ooty. People congratulated us on fabulous teamwork. Small and beautiful :-)))
Do it again was the theme we heard again and again.We will and much better.