Swing Patrol Boat

THE DAY WE RAISED $6,000.00

In 2004, the Boxing Day Tsunami had a devastating effect on thousands of lives in many Asian countries. Claudia and Scott decided to conduct a fundraiser Lindy Hop workshop for victims.  There was a minimum charge, merchandise was available for sale with all proceeds going to the fundraiser. The outpouring of support was remarkable, with dancers putting $50 and $100 notes into the tin at the front door. Dancers buying merchandise often insisted on paying well above the minimum requirements.  It was an amazing testament to the generosity of the Melbourne Swing dance community.

Through a contact of Scott’s family $6,000.00 was made available to ‘Serve Trust India’ an NGO in India run by Leena Lavanya, a social worker and “modern day Mother Theresa”.

As a community we expected nothing back and were just pleased we could make this small contribution.  Three months later, we received this small photo in the mail from Leena. Claudia was in tears and it was a very special moment when we realised that the dance community had made a significant difference: The funds had been used to buy a fishing boat that would feed and house eight families who had lost everything in the Tsunami. They had lost both loved ones and their livelihood. As the funds had come from the Melbourne Swing Patrol community Leena and the families decided to call the boat “Swing Patrol”

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The words Swing Patrol have almost faded today but a few dancers have visited the location of the boat which is still being used. The sea-side locality is Chirala (also known as Kshirapuri) is a town in Prakasam district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh which is on the the eastern side of central India.

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