Thursday 10 July 2014

A good reason to watch the World Cup

At last there is a good reason to pay attention to the World Cup. 

In the spring Naljorma Dri'mèd bought a new car and the seller added on an interesting incentive - for each goal the German football team scored in the World Cup she would get 50 euros. She very kindly decided this money would go to Drala Jong.

I'm not very up on the German score card but I *think* so far the German football team has raised 850 for Drala Jong. 

May they keep on being fortunate.

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Finnish what you started - Ravintolapaiva (Restaurant Day)

For our first fundraising post of the Tibetan New Year we turn to Elina, Alex and Marika's Finnish Food Extravaganza - helping establish the tradition of food-based fundraising that Iza Redon started with her Bristolian fine dining last year.

Over to Alex for the meat of the tale:

It’s not every day that someone comes up with a brilliant fundraising idea, one that’s both fun and lucrative, and yet with Ravintolapäivä just around the corner the event struck us as the perfect opportunity. It was also a great excuse to follow our appreciation and do what we love to do – cook! Here in Finland, four times a year, Ravintolapäivä (Restaurant Day) allows anyone to make, bake or boil a selection of cuisine and then sell it to the public.

Our idea was to use the garden as our venue and to create a menu that would attract as many different palates as possible. To that end we chose two traditional Finnish soups – salmon, and mushroom – and then a more exotic lentil soup, as starters. The first main course is a rising star of Helsinki dining – pulled pork – served with coleslaw and tomato in a homemade bread bun; and secondly, a roasted red pepper, garlic mushroom, and yoghurt marinated chicken skewer served with tahini sauce. For dessert we went for a family favourite – ice-cream – all traditionally homemade. We served three flavours, vanilla, caramel kitkat, along with saffron and coconut.

To promote the event we put our listing on the official Ravintolapäivä website and then set up a Facebook page. One member of our team (who has just graduated as a chef!) previously worked in marketing and she designed a logo, and some flyers. The grass was freshly mown, the fence freshly painted, we borrowed tables and chairs and after that, we simply cooked and cooked and cooked. Ten litres of ice-cream; 40 litres of soup; two necks of pork, and 40 chicken skewers, all sat waiting for the big day, and we, with our fingers tightly crossed, wondering if anyone would show up.

[the yoghurt marinated chicken skewer]
At one point, on the morning of the event, we stood looking at the mountains of food and wondered ‘why on earth did we make this much food? Who exactly is going to come and eat it?’ Actually, it was a win win situation; even if no one showed up we would eat like kings for days to come, but, as it turned out, the clock struck eleven and at five past we had our first customers, then the next and the next, right up until five o’clock that afternoon.

We sold out of nearly everything. One of our team drove four times to restock, and another gamely helped with the washing-up for hours on end. And so it went. Our customers enjoyed the food, we enjoyed serving them, no one had to wait and the weather was perfectly warm. The garden was transformed into a heartfelt space of appreciation for the senses, and we couldn’t have been happier. All in all, a thundering success, we raised 700€ before costs!
[The team]

Tuesday 18 March 2014

The Year of the Wood Stallion

The Year of the Water Snake was a difficult and challenging time for many members of the Aro Sangha and yet still people made great efforts to support the Drala Jong Retreat Centre Appeal. This blog is to say thank you to those people.

During 2013 year Sang ngak chö dzong raised £25089

For those who gave direct donations - thank you 

For those who did sponsored activities, arranged book and other sales, made craft items - thank you 

For those who donated by sacrificing their retreat funds - thank you 

And in particular - thank you to those who made donations in memory of Robert E Lee Togden  - the current memorial appeal total is £10170 including the bequest from Robert himself of £8342

So what of the future? 

In the words of Ngak'chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen - 

The year of the Wood Stallion could be a year of impressive activity and extensive accomplishment for those who can relinquish their addiction to reptilian slithering. It could be characterised by the exhilaration of audacious adventures and puissant pursuits – with the sincere well-founded devotion of a horse’s vision, dramatic accomplishments become possible.   . . .   The year of the horse is one in which the energetic, enthusiastic, and cheerful will prosper – and in which the dull, greedy, and slothful will either rise to the occasion – or fall beneath the hooves of the inevitable. 

We hope to write to you soon of future fundraising opportunities - plans are afoot for balls, dinners, auctions, sales, treasure vases. We hope the year of the Wood Stallion will be one in which the vision of Drala Jong will be established for the benefit of everyone and everything everywhere.