WiT (Women in Travel) succeeded in surpassing its original target of raising 12,000 for children with disabilities ranging from blindness to leprosy living in villages near Ramnagar, some five hours north-east of Delhi. So far the total is at 23,000 (US$29,915).
The children will have a new special school and home thanks to the many individuals and companies who answered WiTs (Women in Travel) call to raise the final sum required to complete the project during TFWA World Exhibition, says WiT.
DFS, Furla, Bally, The Moodie Report, Reflecta, Essence Corp, Armani, Cairo Airport Duty Free, Swarovski, Tumi, Travel Markets Insider and La Prairie, donated items, which went into a silent auction.
The prize draw and silent auction raised over 8,500, and donations from Heinemann, Dubai Duty Free, IAADFS and the Moodie Report added a further 13,500.
Money is still to come in from the auction of a bottle of rare whisky donated by the Travel Retail Business and from the Cannes fun run organised by Maxxium Travel Retail, and Travellers Shop has kindly donated Nike T-shirts, shorts and socks for all the children.
As usual we had a fantastic turnout of women from across the industry at our event, with many new faces, and their efforts in working so hard to sell entries into the prize draw were pivotal in raising this extraordinary sum , says WiT member and supporter Gerry Munday.
In addition, there are many others we need to thank, including Rob Grossman and his team from Questexhibits for their invaluable help in collecting and delivering the prizes and supplying the champagne flutes, Follador for the Prosecco served at the event, Rowena at Essential Communications and the trade media for raising awareness of the project, and TFWA particularly Marissa Phanivong.
WiT also thanks everyone in the travel retail industry who made donations, bought prize draw entries and bid in the silent auction.
WiT founder Sarah Branquinho says: Year after year we ask the industry to dig deep into their pockets for various charities and year after year they do.
[Left: WiT founder Sarah Branquinho]
In 13 months we will have built and opened this amazing school and home complex with the monies raised by WiT at TFWA World Exhibition in 2011 and 2012, and from the sale at auction of the Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve Bottle no 7 (of only 11) donated by William Grant & Sons for £42,000 (£35,000 after tax) to World Duty Free Group.
It is impossible to describe the difference this will make to 100 children who have had no access to education, or in many cases to society.
A further bulletin will be released when the school opens at the end of November. Fund raising has now become an integral part of the Cannes WiT meeting and I am deeply touched that, once again, we have done something that will really change childrens lives.
The next WiT networking meeting will be held during MEDFA. Further details will follow in due course.