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ATASK Silk Road Gala Raises $250,000

Ranjani Saigal

The Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK), a Massachusetts based nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent domestic violence in Asian families and communities, and to provide hope to survivors, celebrated its annual benefit, the Silk Road Gala, on the evening of Friday, October 26, at the State Room in Boston.

Over five hundred people dressed in glamorous outfits enjoyed an evening of fine dining catered to by some of the finest New England chefs while enjoy stunning views from The State Room’s 33rd floor in a dine-around style setting. 

The roster of chefs included Jody Adams of Rialto/Trade, Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa/Toro, David Blessing of The State Room, Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Cafe?, Allison Fong of Bon Me, Phillip Tang of ExNE, Ting Yen of Oishii and the 2012 James Beard Foundation Northeast chef award winner, Tim Cushman,
along with his wife Nancy from o ya. In addition, Georgetown Cupcake, with a branch recently opened on Newbury Street in Boston by star sisters of the hit series DC Cupcakes on TLC, served its famous cupcakes.

ATASK began with the vision of founder Reverend Cheng Imm Tan, who mobilized a group of volunteers in Boston over 25 years ago to address important gaps in services and access for Asian immigrant victims of domestic violence.  Incorporated in 1992, the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK) has operated New England’s only multilingual emergency shelter, advocacy services, outreach, and education programs for battered Asian adults and their children. ATASK’s mission is to prevent domestic violence in Asian families and communities and to provide hope to survivors.

“This is the 19th year of the Silk Road Gala event ”, says Reverend Tan. “It was started when someone introduced me to Kija Kim, Co-founder, President and Managing Partner.  Kija asked how she can help with the cause and my first request to her was to get help to raise funds”

Kija Kim initiated the idea of the Silk Road Gala. “We started that 19 years ago. It is so nice to see that we are now coming up to our 20 th year” said Kim.  Kim serves and as ATASK Board Emeritus.  Silent and live auctions are integral part of the fundraiser.  The auctioneer for this year was the superstar from the world of genetics, one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Eric Lander.  His persuasive appeal helped run a very successful auction that contributed significantly to the nearly quarter million dollars raised at the event. 
Why did he accept this role? “I think it is a great cause and hence when Linda Chin, President of ATASK requested my help for the auction I readily agreed” said Lander. 

ATASK has succeeded in attracting some donors who contribute on a regular basis. Mary and David Chappell are strong supporters. Why do they contribute to this cause? “We have adopted children from China and Vietnam and hence feel drawn to Asian organizations.  We read about ATASK in a newspaper and were very impressed with their work. I came into some inheritance and decided to channel that money to this very worthy cause. When I talk to ATASK staff members like Purnima Sanghal and others, I can see their passion for the cause. Such passion translates into effective action and we feel very satisfied to see our donation put to great use” says Mary Chappell.

This year’s gala was the kickoff for the 20th Anniversary year, and ATASK has many events planned between now and the next Gala (or 20th Gala in October of 2013), including hosting an event with Asian playwright David Henry Hwang for the New England premiere of Chinglish. 

The fund raised from the Gala contributes to several ATASK initiatives. ATASK offers housing in their emergency shelter, outreach to Asian communities and a 24-hour multi-lingual helpline, programs and services that support clients and their children and empower them to live independent lives and education and training for youth, providers, and the public. 

To learn more about ATASK visit their site at http://www.atask.org/site/

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