The fundraiser for Goa Sudharop’s Thread up project was held on September 21, 2018. The Thread Up project was inspired by Verma D’Mello who is an internationally acclaimed fashion designer. She has showcased her designs all over the world including the Paris Haute Couture Week, San Francisco World Fashion Week, the prestigious Cannes Fashion and Film Festival, African Fashion Week by Mercedes Benz and several other shows and events. Between her thriving career, running her own business and raising her family, Verma has always been passionate about bringing awareness to injustices she sees in the community and dedicated to finding ways to correct these injustices.
The event opened up with a welcome by Goa Sudharop’s President, Ria Davis, followed by a project description presented by Chloe Fernandes, Goa Sudharop’s Lead volunteer in Goa. Chloe shared her own humbling and heartfelt experience working in the village and seeing the hardships firsthand such as schools with leaking roofs, a lack of toilet facilities and an overall unsafe environment for women and children.
Acaria Almeida, Director of Global Operations and the Project lead for Thread Up released the official Thread up music video including a song composed by Mary Jo De Mello, a professional Goan singer and songwriter. Both the song and video captured the essence of the Thread up project by taking you to a rural village where this project is focused on improving the lives of the underserved populations.
The highlight of the event was the fashion show which showcased gowns produced through the Thread Up project by women in the villages under the guidance of Verma and her team. The women were all trained in the art of sewing with the goal of empowering them and providing them with an opportunity to be self sufficient and to live with dignity. The gowns were modeled by our very own Goan women from the Bay Area (Nicole Rodrigues, Anunsya D'Cunha Pereira, Roxanne Fernandes, Celcia Carvalho, Harriet Ferens, Rebecca Lobo, Minette Fernandes, Minivia Fernandes, Sarah Pereira, Kay Coelho, Andrea Pereira) who walked the runway with a purpose. Verma received a standing ovation as she walked in with the models at the end of the show. In her message to Bay Area Goans, she thanked everyone for the support she received and shared her inspiration for Thread Up and her mission to empower women and improve the conditions in underserved villages. The gowns were donated by Verma and purchased by attendees with a donation that was matched by Goa Sudharop.
The evening of dinner and dancing continued with fantastic music by the duo Tania & Andre who traveled all the way from Goa and a delicious and generous Goan spread from 3D Catering (Malcolm D’Sa) & the California Goans group. The décor of the hall was artistically tied to Thread Up with colorful Indian fabrics and antique hand painted sewing machines designed by Celeste Lourenco.
The next step for the Thread up team, consisting of Celeste Lourenco, Sheena Shastri, Chloe Fernandes along with Verma D’Mello, will be to develop apparel for online sales and to provide updates and progress on the village facilities.
A big thank you from Goa Sudharop to our guests who attended, the event organizers and to our generous donors and sponsors that helped us raise approximately $25,000 towards Thread Up.
To view the Thread Up music video or to learn more about the project goals visit the Thread Up Project Page.
To check out photos from the fundraiser event visit our Photo Gallery.
All donations to Thread Up are tax deductible for U.S. residents.To make a donation to Thread Up click here. Please indicate your donation is for Thread Up and you will receive an acknowledgment from the Treasurer for a tax write-off.