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Houstonians Show their Choice of Charity at SEWA’s Annual Fundraising Gala

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Sewa Houston being recognized for its community work by Sam Merchant (left) on behalf of Congressman Al Green. Next to him; from left: Gitesh Desai, President of Sewa Houston Chapter, Chief guest of the evening, Indian Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray, Keynote Speaker, Judge R.K. Sandill, and Guest of Honor for the evening, Swatantra Jain at the Sewa International’s 2017 Annual Fundraising Gala on Sunday, November 5, at Stafford Center. Photos: Navin Mediwala

HOUSTON: Sewa International’s Houston Chapter hosted its 2017 Annual Fundraising Gala on Sunday, November 5, at Stafford Center. More than 550 people attended the gala making it a sold-out event. The team revisited some traditions while opening doors to the new ideas. Youth volunteers were invited for lighting the lamp thus making new generation part of the old tradition. It was followed by melodious rendition of Saraswati Vandana by Apoorva Das. Gitesh Desai, President of Sewa Houston chapter, delivered a welcome speech and spoke about Sewa’s accomplishments in 2017, especially disaster relief efforts for hurricane Harvey. During the hurricane and post floods, Sewa team helped in rescuing 687 people, 400+ families through cleanup and relief efforts, delivered 30,000 hot meals, 21 truckloads of supplies accounting for more than 50,000 volunteer hours. Throughout the year, Sewa conducted community service programs and events like new Aspire Tutorials for underprivileged kids, Informative workshops, Stop Diabetes Movement yoga camps, Youth internship program.

Sewa team and volunteers celebrating the lovely and inspiring evening.

Sewa team and volunteers celebrating the lovely and inspiring evening.

Chief guest of the evening, Indian Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray encouraged audience to support the noble cause and do good for the community. Keynote Speaker, Judge R.K. Sandil shared his story of overpowering cancer and how it shaped his family’s belief in faith. Guest of Honor for the evening, Swatantra Jain congratulated Sewa team and the president for their year-round community service and exceptional dedication during Harvey despite their own houses being flooded. Congressman Al Green recognized Sewa on this occasion and the Certificate of Appreciation was personally delivered by his community liaison Sam Merchant.

Sewa Chapter Coordinator Achalesh Amar inviting organization representatives.

Sewa Chapter Coordinator Achalesh Amar inviting organization representatives.

 

All the dignitaries enjoying the evening

All the dignitaries enjoying the evening

The inspiring evening was made even more memorable by the elegant Rumba performance from Fred Astaire’s international dancers, and classical and fusion dance performance Keka Kar’s team was cherry on the top. Some of her dancers had come all the way from India.

Dance peformace by Keka Kar

Dance peformace by Keka Kar

Sewa recognized all the organizations that supported them extensively in Harvey relief efforts. A representative from each organization was called upon stage and presented with a memento as a token of appreciation. The evening was well hosted by Emcee Abiya Malhotra and vote of thanks was delivered by Sewa chapter co-coordinator Nikhil Jain who thanked everyone for their support, including the Sewa Houston core team members Achalesh Amar (Chapter Coordinator), Anuja Deshpande (Project Coordinator), Kavita Tewary (Executive Director), Sharda Gadiya, Meera Kapur, Dinesh Shah and many volunteers who made this gala a grand success. The wonderful evening was followed by equally delicious dinner and fruit bar. Sewa Houston raised more than $250,000 through this fundraiser for its local projects.

Latin Dance performance

Latin Dance performance

Sewa USA is 501 (c) (3) Hindu faith-based non-profit, charitable organization. All donations (cash, cars, clothes, securities, etc.) are tax-deductible. (Tax Id# 20-0638718). Sewa serves humanity regardless of race, religion, color, gender or nationality

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