By Basil Kim – New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Advisory Team Member, The cARTwheel Initiative
On October 24, I had the privilege of attending an event hosted by the cARTwheel Initiative and Virginia Davies and Willard Taylor at their beautiful home in the West Village. This informal gathering was a chance for the supporters, friends, artists, organizers and advisory team to meet together for the first time, and it was truly an inspiring and exciting evening. The gathering kicked off with a meeting of the entire cARTwheel team, and it was great to put faces to the names of all the supporters of the effort. Throughout the introductions, I was struck by the level of enthusiasm, expertise and diverse interests of the group. One of the things that has been the most interesting to me (and which I’m sure will drive the success of the trip) is the passion of all the participants; getting everyone together amplified the energy as goals and timelines were laid out for the next weeks and months.
As the evening moved over into the larger gathering of friends and supporters, it was a pleasant surprise to get the chance to taste authentic Sri Lankan food (my first time) complemented by champagne (generously provided by Sigiri Restaurant and Vranken Pommery, respectively). We also got to hear from Samuel Holt and Suba Sivakumaran (founders of Kandy International Film Festival) and Meera Pathmarajah (Founder/CEO, Visions Global Empowerment), which rounded out the night. This portion of the evening was another chance to meet with many of the supporters of cARTwheel, including representatives from Yves St. Laurent, Valentino, Chloe and artist/photographer Marc Yankus, who generously donated items to be auctioned off to support the trip.
Overall, it was an evening filled with great energy and warmth, and a nice prelude into the hectic season that I’m sure is near as the day of departure approaches. However, it was truly a great encouragement to see such an outpouring of support for the cARTwheel Initiative. I’m excited for all that is to come!