Rehoboth's Keswani launches Christmas Ball fundraiser
|Harry Keswani, owner of Atlantic Jewelry in Rehoboth Beach, launched the Harry K Foundation to stop child hunger in Sussex County. The foundation's first fundraising event is the Christmas Ball Saturday, Dec. 14, at Rehoboth Beach Country Club.|
“When you see a child in hunger, there’s nothing like it,” he said. “When you’re older, you can sometimes help yourself. But when you’re so small, how can you help yourself? They’re helpless.”
A native of London whose parents were born in India, Keswani has been in business at his Atlantic Jewelry store at Laurel Streel on the Boardwalk for more than 25 years. He began his own Harry K line of jewelry three years ago and intends to expand the line to be sold in stores beyond Delaware.
A father himself, Keswani has helped fund doctors who work internationally to treat disadvantaged children, but he also wanted to help his local community.
“I only realized a couple years ago that right here in my own backyard I have starving kids. Tonight, people will go to sleep hungry. I couldn’t believe it. I decided I was going to do something about it,” Keswani said.
Keswani launched the Harry K Foundation, dedicated to ending childhood hunger in Sussex County. The foundation’s first major event is a Christmas Ball, set Saturday, Dec. 14, at Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Keswani said the goal is to raise $200,000 by selling sponsorships. He said the Rehoboth business community has already responded with pledges to the foundation.
He has teamed up with Delaware Food Bank to distribute the money raised by the foundation, which he hopes will help the food bank open more sites throughout Sussex County, as far west as Seafood. He said another goal was to team up with local school districts to provide a pantry in every school. He would also like to team up with churches to provide pantries and soup kitchens at local churches.
While his plan is ambitious, Keswani said, “I think we can do this. This is for the kids. They’re hungry. We should be able to do this.”
He said he is inspired by a story he’d been told of two brothers, with the older brother telling his younger sibling to eat up because there would be no more food through the weekend. “We complain when there’s not a piece of fruit in the fridge,” Keswani said. “These kids have no food.”
Keswani said his intentions for the Christmas Ball is to host a large-scale event based on galas held in Washington, D.C.
“It’s really going to be a high-profile affair,” Keswani said. “We’re jumping in. There’s a lot we’re doing in a short period of time. It’s big, and it’s a lot of work. We don’t want to stop after this ball.”
He said he couldn’t wait for the ball and to get the foundation rolling.
“We’re really passionate about this,” Keswani said. “This has to work.”
For more information on the ball and the Harry K Foundation, visit harrykfoundation.org or call 226-0675.