The Rotary Club of Bombay and Rotary Club of Mumbai Nariman Point hosted 2018 Race for Humanity (RFH) on Sunday, an initiative to raise funds for the Rotary Foundation in aid of the six causes of Rotary.
The Rotary Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the efforts of Rotary International – Promoting Peace, Fighting Disease, Providing Clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Saving Mothers and Children, Supporting Education, Growing Local Economies. It is one of the few charity organizations in the world to be awarded 4-star rating by Charity Navigator. The Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized The Rotary Foundation with its annual Award for Outstanding foundation in 2017.
The Race for Humanity (RFH) is one such initiative by RI District 3141 which began in the year 2014, and is held at the Royal Western India Turf Club, Mahalakshmi at the beginning of the Horse Racing Season.
The event saw true fusion of the two tenets of Rotary – Service and Fellowship. More than 200 Rotary Clubs from all over Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, and other areas were present to participate in the event.
Speaking on this, Rtn. Vijay Jatia, President, Rotary Club of Bombay said, “We are humbled to see how our flagship event Race for Humanity has grown over the years. Growing only means unprecedented participation and contribution by the Rotary fraternity and citizens in general. This year saw top artists from India and the US grab the eyeballs; and we hope to continue taking it a notch higher each time, showcasing our expertise of 90 years of Rotary service.”
Adding to this, Rtn. Neeraj Dharia, President, Rotary Club of Mumbai Nariman Point said, “We are glad to have been hosting this for the first time with Rotary Club of Bombay. As one of the youngest Clubs of Mumbai, we are constantly on the lookout for bringing in more fun to Rotary, while sticking to our motto Service Above Self. Race for Humanity has served as the ideal platform, and the turnout is just a testament to that.”
RFH was divided into three parts: the day event hosted 7 action packed races accompanied with stage performances, kids’ zone, pet zone, and over 40 flea market and food stalls. In a novel arrangement, the races were kept open even for children across all age groups.
Another highlight of the day event was the Pawportunity Zone which was an attempt to empty kennels and pair animals with their dream homes. Two animal rescue and foster NGOs namely Animal Crusaders and Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD) were associated for the cause.
The races were followed by an Intercity Forum with Rotary International President Elect Rtn Mark Maloney, the Chief Guest for the event. Other dignitaries attending include RIPN Rtn Sushil Gupta, PRIP Raja Saboo, PRIP Kalyan Banerjee, TRF Trustee Gulam Vahanvaty, RI Director C Basker, RIDE Bharat Pandya, RIDE Kamal Sanghvi and Past TRF Trustee, PRID Ashok Mahajan, DG Shashi Sharma and DG Ashes Ganguly along with a phalanx of Past District Governors from 3141 and 3142.
The evening witnessed the last leg of the event – the mega Sunday Sundowner. The opening act was performed by Grammy nominated jazz pianist, arranger and producer John di Martino, accompanied by world-renowned cornetist Warren Vaché. It was followed by a hysterical stand-up comedy act by Atul Khatri, visual and psychological illusions by Mangesh Desai, and the night was closed by EDM maestro DJ Shiva.