“It always seems impossible, until it’s done.”
There are two ‘i’s’ in Fundraising – they stand for inspiration and innovation.Atleast that’s what The Rotaract Club of General Sir John Kothelawala Defence University believes.
At the mention of the word fundraiser, it’s acceptable to hear a gamut of excuses as to why it should not be done. Merely mention raising funds to support an entire village meet their daily water needs, and you might find yourself in a situation where it’s just your idea amidst an empty room.
But then again, Martin Luther King didn’t get up 50 years ago and say: “I have a budget and a plan!”
The rain water harvesting project proposal would have been just another dream, had not the overly enthusiastic group of young Rotaractors of The Rotaract Club of KDU taken it upon themselves to make the dream a reality by hook or by crook. And so began the countless hours of thinking, planning, organizing, rethinking, re planning, and reorganizing.
“Burn” Ideas kept pouring in as to what Burn would be. A fundraiser no doubt, but the unspoken question on everyone’s mind was “can we pull off a fundraiser that would raise the funds we need for the rain water harvesting project?”
The rainwater harvesting project is a project initiated to provide the filtering systems needed to pump potable water to the areas affected by the hard water crisis in Sri Lanka. It is a well believed fact that the intake of potable water free from harmful solutes can greatly minimize the risk of chronic kidney diseases in individuals of areas affected by the hard water crisis.
In order to get the clogs moving, we decided on piling up ideas given by our members, and then settling on the best option/options. Should it be a musical show? A floating lantern festival? A fitness program? A basketball tournament?
Being the over enthusiastic and over optimistic youngsters we are, we decided to aim the bar high, surpass our comfort zones, and just go with it by giving our all. It was no surprise therefore when we decided to combine a Zumba Fitness Session along with a floating lantern festival ending with an epic DJ after party.
And so on the 21st of August, “Burn-phase 2” unveiled to the public, at the Race Course Grounds Colombo 7. An early morning start on the day was inevitable. There was a stage to be fixed, lights to be put up, and decorations to be set up and so on.
The evening encounter that was planned began with the Zumba Fitness Session conducted by Dharshan, a well renowned and established Zumba Instructor in the country. Due to his professional expertise he was able to conduct the Zumba dance session not only to enhance the wellness of the participants but also in a manner that was extremely fun and definitely worth the sweat. His passionate performance of Zumba attracted not only those who had come ready to dance (sweat pants and all) but also the kids and our very own club members in the audience, who felt impatient and excited to join in on the groove!
As the evening passed on it was time to start the most awaited “floating lantern festival”. Our guest of honor, the gorgeous Stephanie Siriwardhana, Miss Sri Lanka 2011, launched the very first floating lantern of the evening, and the rest of the crowd followed. As such festivals in Sri Lanka are a rare encounter, the crowd was very enthusiastic to send off their floating lanterns; some with their loved ones with romance in the air and others with their children and families. It was quite obvious how amidst the doubtful and impatient atmosphere, faces lit up with relief and enjoyment on seeing the lanterns they set off float in the night sky in picturesque beauty.
“Burn-phase 2” came to an end with an epic after-party and carnival. The DJ music, food and the ambiance created the “perfect carnival” for everyone to enjoy their Sunday evening before the new week started.
The atmosphere was static as the day moved on and everything began falling into place. With over 300 participants both young and old, we knew we had met our mark and they all, unknowingly or knowingly became a part of a wonderful cause to help a population of kidney patients to access potable drinking water. All those late night organizing and planning sessions seemed more than worth it, because “Burn” was a success beyond our greatest hopes. Pictures speak a thousand words. See for yourself.
It always seems impossible until it’s done. We would know. We achieved what we thought was impossible.