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The three day Picnic was made possible with the blessing of Sogyal Rinpoche, support of VajraTV and Tongnyi Nyingje Ling and with the support of individual community donors. Young Tibetans from New York volunteered to help, some took off from their work, including professional chefs, hotel employees, entrepreneurs and so forth. The organizers hope they can make this an annual event.

During the picnic the elders had a chance to spend time with each other, share their stories with the staff, play various games including Sho (Tibetan dice game), sing and dance.

They received Guru Rinpoche empowerment streamed live directly from Sogyal Rinpoches’ Dharma center in Lerabling, France. After the empowerment, the elders had a tour of the beautiful waterfall and lake at Huyck Preserve. Tibetan actor and entertainer Sonam Wangdi travelled from New York to entertain the elders for the evening program.

Speaking about the event, VajraTV’s founder Thupten N Chakrishar said “We can never repay their kindness but the picnic was a small gesture of appreciation to our elders who have sacrificed so much in order to provide a better life for us. My own grand parents passed away when I was very young, so the picnic felt like I am with them again and it was my chance to thank them.”

On their way back to New York, the elders stopped at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Center, the official seat of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa in the US. There, they were welcomed by Lama Phuntsok who took them on a grand tour of the monastery including the private residence of His Holiness and were served tea and snacks.

The organizers would like to thank the following individuals for their invaluable contribution: VajraTV’s team included Karma Drukya, Thupten Sherab, Tenzin Topden, Tsering Choden, Pema Choedon Chakrishar, Tsering Paljor, Dolma Karma, Phuntsok Dolma, Sonam Wangdi and Thupten N Chakrishar, and Tongnyi Nyingje Ling’s team included Ryan DuVal, Jessica Zukerman DuVal, Laurie Lai, and Michael Wong.