Third Gala Diwali Dinner and Dance Exceeds Fund Raising Goals

On Sunday, October 29, 2000 Karuna Charities hosted its Annual Diwali fundraiser at the Holiday Inn in Gaithersburg.  Organized with the talents and energy of dedicated women like Chairperson Lekha Sreenivasan and President, Amrit Kalotra, the glittering event was sold out.

This year apart from raising funds for building a resource center, Karuna Charities has helped the Orissa flood victims, contributed to the abused persons' program in Montgomery County, MD, helped two needy women through ASHA, served meals to the residents of Mother Teresa's home and Little Sisters of the Poor home on Gandhi Jayanti, helped a young student in need, and donated money for legal fees and medical care for abused women.

The Indian American community in the Washington metro area converged with great enthusiasm for the annual Diwali fund raiser. Superb entertainment was provided in the form of a beautiful Dandia dance choreographed by Lekha Sreenivasan and a runaway success Qawali by Reeta Bakshi, Mili Singh, and group. The Bhangra was performed by an energetic group of young men led by Bir Singh.

The attendees were addressed by president Amrit Kalotra who presented a plaque to the outgoing president, Lekha Sreenivasan for her outstanding and tireless dedication to the cause of helping the helpless and called for commitment in the coming years for carrying on Karuna's cause. The Karuna board consists of, Kanti Singh, vice president; Promilla Banik, secretary; Jasbir Sethi, treasurer; Savita Malhotra, joint secretary; and Satya Devi Roy and Bina Dhir, joint treasurers. The Guest of Honor, Ms. Marla Bush addressed the group about the services available for the aged in the United States and what special needs of the aging Indian American community could be addressed by calling a forum. The evening was enlivened by the commentary of the MC, Nilima Mehra and the live songs of the D.J., Hemant.  A highly successful auction led by Sreenath Sreenivasan and his charming wife Roopa, contributed both to the excitement of the event and the success of the fund raiser.  Delicious food was catered by Natraj.

Karuna thanks all the sponsors, donors, volunteers, and members for making this program successful. The sponsors of the event included Delta Airlines, Air India, Dr. Inder and Vera Chawla, State Bank of India, Kaleidoscope of Asia Television, Daman and Madhu Walia, and Hangama Kitty. Raffle prizes were donated by Delta Airlines, Bombay Club, Heritage India, Bombay Palace, Bombay Tandoor, Bombay Bistro, and CyberLearningIndia. Publicity for this gala event was provided by Darshan Television, Kaleidoscope of Asia Television, and Express India. Karuna appreciates the generosity of Apple Printers for their continuing contribution towards covering the printing needs of Karuna Charities.

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