Nepal: Here to Help preps for fourth annual benefit dinner with Sherpa family

Tashi Sherpa (left) poses for a picture along with a Nepalese family who recieves support through the nonprofit organization Nepal: Here to Help.
Courtesy photo

The Sherpa family of Nepal has endured tremendous hardships over the past year after their mountain lodge on the trail to Mount Everest burned down, but they are setting their own struggles aside next week to help raise funds for the children of their native land.

On Aug. 8, the Colorado-based nonprofit Nepal: Here to Help will hold its fourth annual benefit dinner in Grand County. Held at the lakeside home of foundation founders Sandy and Steve Kukoy, the benefit dinner will help raise funds for school children in Nepal. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit was formed in early 2016 after a devastating earthquake struck Nepal in 2015.

The charity’s mission is to provide access to education to the school-aged children of Nepal. Well known across Grand County, Tashi and Lakpa Sherpa, whose Nepalese mountain lodge burned down in late 2017, serve as the charity’s in-country representatives and help oversee the distribution of funds to families in the area. While Nepal: Here to Help has spent the past eight months helping the Sherpa family raise funds for a lodge reconstruction project, currently underway, next week’s fundraiser will be dedicated to the charity’s core mission of expanding education to the youth of Nepal. Funds raised help support the education of 40 children from Nepal, ranging from as young as five years old to college students in their early 20s.

Next week’s dinner event, which kicks off at 5 p.m., will feature a traditional Nepalese meal prepared by Tashi Sherpa and her son, Karma, who is currently pursuing a degree in restaurant management at Metropolitan State University in Denver. The dinner will feature chicken curry, Nepalese style dumplings called momos, lintels and rice and more.

At previous benefits the food was prepared by Tashi and her husband, Lakpa. The Sherpa family traditionally spends summers in Grand County rather than their home in Nepal. For many years they owned and operated a lodge in Namche Bazaar, on the trail to Mount Everest, that provided lodging accommodations to hikers touring the area, but was destroyed by fire. Instead of traveling to America for the summer, Lakpa Sherpa remained in Nepal this summer to help with the ongoing reconstruction efforts.

The proceeds raised from the benefit event will go towards helping secure educational opportunities for children in Nepal and will not go towards the Sherpa’s lodge rebuilding efforts, according to Sandy Kukoy. Instead, Tashi Sherpa will be selling jewelry at the benefit dinner and proceeds from the sale of her jewelry and artwork will go toward lodge construction.

The Sherpa family’s lodge rebuilding project continues to move forward, with the exterior construction of the lodge’s two main structures now completed including the construction of new roofs. Workers are now moving forward with interior construction including electrical and plumbing work along with the installation of interior walls. Citizens of Grand County have given over $40,000 towards the lodge reconstruction effort, according to Kukoy.

If you are interested in attending the fourth annual Nepal: Here to Help benefit dinner you can find out more details about the event by calling 970-627-8487 or 303-408-9736.

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