Yankee Stadium is often the place for fast pitches and double plays. On June 22, IBOs hit a home run using the facility to partner their We Live to Give Foundation with the Easter Seals New York to thank civic leaders for helping people with disabilities and special needs, presenting awards at the World of Hope Gala.
More than 200 attended at $500 a person, including almost 70 IBOs and Amway Global's VP of Sales Sandy Spielmaker, raising $275,000. The top award was the Lillie and Allan Shedlin Award presented to celebrity Heather Mills, an international advocate for children with disabilities. It was presented by IBOAI Executive Committee member Kanti Gala, winner of the award last year. IBOAI Executive Committee member Shivaram Kumar presented the We Live to Give Award to Arvin Shah, president of Sky Bird Travel & Tours and supporter of the We Live to Give initiative. Kanti is a co-founder of the We Live to Give Foundation and Shivaram is on the We Live to Give Foundation Board, with IBOs Kulin Desai, Manipal Reddy, and Raj Shah.
The We Live to Give Foundation works to bring awareness, medical training, and services for those living with disabilities or special needs in India. "India has made tremendous progress in the medical field with state-of-the-art hospitals, etc. However, there is a dearth of proper facilities and training when it comes to disabilities and conditions such as autism," says Neil Gala, Kanti's son, who is helping with fund raising and establishing a foundation in India. The We Live to Give Foundation's immediate goal is to bring medical staff to the U.S. for training on how to treat autism and other disabilities so they can bring services back to the people of India. Eventually, they want to raise enough funds to build service-providing facilities there, too.
"Being IBOs has given us the vision we needed to accomplish all this," says Neil, who has watched IBOs donate to the cause from both U.S. coasts as well as at events like the World of Hope Gala.