What better way to celebrate New York than to enjoy its panoramic views, its shopping and food – and at the same time help its most vulnerable residents – the children in the city’s homeless shelters? Children’s Hope India (CHI) Spring Luncheon at Water’s Edge in Long Island City, Queens, raised $25,000 on May 7, 2014.

A highlight of the spring luncheon was the presence of the noted culinary authority and actress Madhur Jaffrey and her daughter, the actress Sakina Jaffrey who is currently so popular in “House of Cards.” Both received the CHI Woman of Distinction Awards and made some insightful remarks about succeeding as women in the world of the arts in America. It was also a great photo opportunity day for over 200 guests to take photos with the two much admired celebrities.

Madhur Jaffrey, who is an advisory board member of Children’s Hope, spoke about her long career in food and cinema, the challenges of balancing family and career in a new country and the increased opportunities for the next generation. She showed how much boldness and persistence count in achieving success.

Sakina Jaffrey spoke about the new opportunities for young Indian-Americans, and the power of education. “I have no doubt that at some point every one of you has had to reach back to your education to validate your ticket in life. It’s a security blanket that not everyone enjoys. But by giving time, energy and money to places like Children’s Hope, we can extend that opportunity to others. We can help launch that essential journey of validation for the children who most need it.”

Dina Pahlajani, CHI board member, talked movingly about the cause of homeless children in NYC, the invisible children who number over 22,700 and shuttle between school in the day-time and shelters at night, living in difficult surroundings. Children’s Hope is working with city organizations to identify how the funds raised from the luncheon can best be used to improve their lives.

The New York luncheon was organized by the CHI benefit committee comprising of Babita Advani, Milan Devjani, Aarti Kamat, Maneesha Sani, and Madhulika Shroff. It is coordinated by Jharna Jaisinghani of Artistic Affairs.

The great afternoon of food and fun cocktails was topped by spirited musical performance by Perry Walia, an upcoming singer and musician classically trained by Punjab and Sham Chaurasia Gharanas. She has performed at many charity events and private concerts. Guests truly enjoyed her lively performance and DJ Suheil Jagtiani also added to the afternoon.

Guests picked up great bargains in stylish clothing and jewelry at the tables laden with must-haves from from Treasures in Vogue (by Manisha Dhuper), tunics by Kiran Shrivasta, Shawls by Sonika Nanda, and Jewelry and Accessories by Yatra Collections. The finale of the lunch was stunning bangles in colorful pouches by Exclusively.In, leading e-commerce fashion portal, and familiar blue boxes with white ribbons from The Cake Designer, laden not with jewels, but delectable truffles.

The sponsors were Arvind and Perry Walia, Patel Brothers, Singh Hospitality, Sani Family Foundation, Mathrani Family Foundation, Sanjana and Vijay Samtani, Rahul Kadakia (Christies), Kamat and Ramnani Families.

Children’s Hope India is a volunteer organization of Indian women professionals in New York that has been raising funds for children’s health and education since 1992. It supports over 20 projects across several major cities in India reaching out to over 200,000 children per year.