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Club 24 Celebrates Diwali as a Signature Event with Families and Guests

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Club 24 Plus members and their guests gathered at the luxurious home of Ash and Leena Shah to celebrate Diwali as their annual signature event. Photos: Sachin Shah

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HOUSTON: Diwali is a joyous occasion to be celebrated in the company of family and friends with diyas, sweets, and ethnic fashions. This year’s Club 24 Plus Annual Signature Diwali Party in Houston was as splendid as any Diwali party in New Delhi or Mumbai.

The extravagant home of Ash and Leena Shah, with its beautiful lighting a kaleidoscopic swimming pool and multicolored water jets, was the festive site of the Club 24 Plus event on the evening of Saturday October 28. During the social hour, hosts Leena and Ash Shah greeted Club 24 Plus members and guests arrived in their festive splendor.

Leena and Ash Shah (center) and their two sons light the traditional Diwali diya to signify the festival of lights under the watchful eye of event co-chair Alpa Shah (left).

Leena and Ash Shah (center) and their two sons light the traditional Diwali diya to signify the festival of lights under the watchful eye of event co-chair Alpa Shah (left).

Club 24 was started 11 years ago as a social, ‘invitation only’ club, with the core principles of philanthropy, mentoring and building bridges to Houston’s mainstream community. In keeping with these goals, the club hosts five events annually, including two social events, Valentine’s Party and Holiday Brunch, two signature events, philanthropy event where local charities receive donations from Club 24 members, and the Diwali party.

A brief, formal program began with Ash and Leena Shah, with their two sons, lighting the diya to signify the festival of lights. Dr. Aparna Kamat followed with the recitation of a Vedic prayer.

The cool evening was an ideal setting for informal chats around the poolside fire pit.

The cool evening was an ideal setting for informal chats around the poolside fire pit.

Club 24 Plus President Pradeep Gupta welcomed members and their guests and wished them prosperity and happiness. “My two-year term ends at the end of the year and it has been a wonderful, enriching experience,” Gupta explained.

At this time, Gupta remembered the victims of Hurricane Harvey and recalled the community’s continued support to help flood victims in their rehabilitation.

Gupta said the club’s goals are to “build connections between the Indian community and the mainstream by highlighting our culture and by matching each member’s contribution from the club’s funds to a charity of the member’s choice,” mentoring the younger generation, and establishing close relationship within the families of Club 24 members and friends through networking.

Club 24 Plus leaders made their brief remarks under the banner of the charitable organization with members gathered around the colorfully lit pool.

Club 24 Plus leaders made their brief remarks under the banner of the charitable organization with members gathered around the colorfully lit pool.

“We also have an outreach event, and by popular request, we will host a Dinner cruise on Galveston Bay, on Nov. 18,” Gupta said.

Gupta said he was pleased with the high level of member participation at every Club 24 event and thanked the committee members for their efforts in making the events successful. He also lauded hard work of the signature event committee chaired by Alpa Shah, with co-chair, Dr. Asra Oberoi.

Ashok Garg, a founder-member of Club 24, recalled that the club has donated more than $1 million over the past 11 years for various charitable causes and wished the club continued success.

Madras Pavilion, with owners Mahesh and Alpa Shah as Club 24 Plus members, treated the guests with delectable appetizers and a sumptuous festival dinner. The evening concluded with Club 24 Plus members gathering around the pool for informal conversations, and some members dancing enthusiastically to the beat of upbeat Bollywood tunes.

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