C24+ Donors Meet their Charities at a Villa by the Lake

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Photos: Bijay Dixit

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By Jawahar Malhotra

SUGAR LAND: It has gotten to the point that the most suspenseful moment for Club 24 Plus events has not been so much the program that will follow but the anticipation of the venue where it will be held. In the past few years, each of the social club’s signature philanthropy and Diwali events has been held, through a long rotation, at the homes of its members and each has been more superlative than the other, as if trying to outdo one another.

This past weekend, the venue was truly exceptional as C24+ held its annual Philanthropy event on Saturday, April 29, where members hand out donation checks to their favorite charities. The setting was at the enormous villa of Vimal and Hansa Kothari who threw open their newly completed house by the banks of Eldridge Lake for the event. The social hour, dinner and check donation were held in the massive outdoor yard under huge trees, by the curving balustrade and afterwards entertainment was inside the large, tastefully decorated foyer and open kitchen.

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Just as last year, the skies portended rain, but didn’t erupt as the event took through its paces. Eight charities which have traditionally received the support of the C24+ members once again came to accept their checks from the donor members. Ash Shah, President of Pratham USA received a donation from Asha and Pankaj Dhume and Anu and Mani Subramaniam; OvarCome’s founder Runsi Sen received a check from Aparna Kamat and Juuhi Ahuja and Dean Reynolds of the Conrad Hilton School of Restaurant Management received a check from an alumnus, Rick Oberoi and his wife Asra.

Moving along, Daya’s President Sesh Bala received a check from Annu and Sagar Naik and Anu and Mani Subramaniam; Maria McGee of Interfaith Ministries accepted a check from Anu and Mani Subramaniam; Sangeeta Pasrija and Veena Mathur accepted a check on behalf of Save A Mother from Veena and Kuldip Kaul; Pankaj Desai of Ekal Vidyalaya was overwhelmed by a check from Jugal and Raj Malani and Pradeep and Kiran Gupta and finally, Ed Wilson of the Rotary Club  Memorial-Spring Branch accepted a check from Ashok Garg, Jagdip Ahluwalia, Venu Rao, Mansukh Vaghela, Dr. K.T. Shah and Dr. Rudy Ramos. The C24+ members matched a portion of each donation. Each recipient gave a short speech about their charity and its work.

C24+ President Pradeep Gupta, ailing from an emergency health procedure, nevertheless stood to deliver his greetings and welcome surprise special guests, former Mayor of Houston Annise Parker and her wife Kathy Hubbard and gave thanks to the emcee and Board member Alpa Shah and her organizing committee of Dr. Aparna Kamat, Dr. Asra Oberoi and Laxmi Murthy. He also recognized his other Board members and committee chairs Ashok Garg, Savita Rao, Manisha Gandhi and Prakash Roopan.

After the fusion Tex-Mex and Indian snacks and dinner by Dawat Catering (whose co-owner Mahesh Shah did double duty as a member); a musical interlude of Oldies and recent Bollywood numbers was sung by Imtiaz Munshi, Uma Mantravadi and Kamal.

About the only question that lingered on was if the next C24+ event was going to be held in the palatial home, owned by a prominent Indian businessman, but still under construction which you passed by before entering the lakes area. Time will tell!

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