Karuna’s mission is to help the needy. This mission has been met over the years by a group of dedicated women who have distributed over $65,000 to those who are facing trying times in their lives according to the president, Mrs. Amrit Kalotra. "Karunites" have been trying to help victims of domestic abuse by providing moral, emotional, and financial support as they rebuild their lives. One such recipient wrote in her thank you card, "Because of your organization, I can dream about my future."
Mrs. Kalotra, in her welcome speech reached out to the community to increase Karuna’s membership and volunteers, especially the new youth wing of Karuna Charities.
The glittering occasion, attended by nearly 230 members of the community, was hosted by former TV hostess, Nita Goel Popli. The mood for the event was set by a gentle invocation dance by three lovely young ladies, Shivangi Avasthi, Tanvi Avasthi, and Bhavya Dhingra.
There cannot be a Diwali without the ancient ceremony of lighting lamps. The honors were done by Mr. A. K. Gupta, Minister of Community Affairs, Embassy of India.
Next, high bids were received on the auction of an airline ticket to any place in India from the US contributed by a new travel agency, Around the World, Inc. A beautiful gold and diamond ring contributed by Gold City Jewelers was also enthusiastically auctioned to the highest bidder.
Aanchal Raj of the Swan Ballet Dance School gracefully performed a fusion ballet based on Indian classical music.
Maud E. Clark, LCSW-C Therapist and ICADV Convener, Montgomery County Abused Persons Program focused on how Karuna Charities’ funding has helped several people in the program regain control of their lives. She conveyed a keen sense of purpose to the fundraiser.
Miss Asia 2004, Neelam, a model and aspiring actress performed a fascinating classical dance from the popular movie, Devdas to the delight of the audience.
The raffle was keenly awaited and proved to be a complete success with many prizes by the sponsors.
The program ended with a vote of thanks by Jasbir Sethi, treasurer.
Karuna Charities appreciates the generosity of 250 members of the community who bought tickets for the fundraiser and each of the sponsors.
The grand sponsor was Manish Kutheala of Around the World, Inc. Travel Service. Dr. Vijay Varma of Shady Grove Radiology was the gold sponsor. Sponsors were Matt Piester Mortgage Advisor Group), SBK Settlement Corp., Rani Varma, Madhu and Daman Walia, Ajay and Sujata Avasthi, Veena Oberoi, Ajay Prakash, and Nalini Kapur.
Raffle prizes were provided by Sharma and Bhandari, LLC (Will preparation services—up to $500), Radiance-Antiaging Skin Medical Center (three certificates for a total of $500), a gift hamper from Around the World, Inc., two gift certificates from Bombay Palace (each $200).
The scrumptious dinner catered by Rani Varma of Bombay Tandoor was followed by dancing to the tunes of DJ Hemant Kumar and party. A festive touch was provided to the occasion by decorative lamps (diyas) provided by Around the World, Inc., at each table.
Apple Printers printed the brochure laid out by Sathya Devi Roy.
The next fundraiser for Karuna’s humanitarian missions will be a golf tournament in May 2005 and we, at Karuna hope you will help to make it a big success.