Sewa Houston Hosts Vibrant, Successful Annual Fundraising Gala

HOUSTON: The Houston Chapter of Sewa International celebrated its annual gala on December 10th, highlighting its achievements and raising funds for various humanitarian projects. The event, named “H.E.L.P. 2023” (Help Every Life Prosper), concluded the year embodied in Selfless Service to the local community.

The Gala held at the GSH event center was sold-out and attended by 525 guests. The evening’s Emcee, Dr Subodh Bhuchar, was welcomed by Sewa Houston Chapter Executive Director, Kavita Tewary. The event started with
a graceful dance tribute to Lord Ganesha by the students of the ‘Shivangini Academy of Performing Arts’ (Guru Shiva Mathur).

Nikhil Jain, Houston Chapter Coordinator of Sewa International, thanked the audience for their support and shared the impactful achievements of the past year. He urged the community to continue with their generous contributions.
Several videos were shown to showcase the work of the Sewa Houston chapter, including work by the ‘AmeriCorps’ team and of the ‘Family Services’ team.

Chris Osentowski, the CEO of HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center, delivered an enthralling keynote speech highlighting the value of the collaboration between HCA and Sewa. He encouraged everyone to support Sewa’s community service efforts with their donations.

Consul General of India, D C Manjunath, was the chief guest for the evening. He addressed the audience and emphasized the need for collaboration and cooperation. One of the memorable moments of the event was listening to the stories of some of the people who have been helped by Sewa, such as Ms. Misti Bass, Jesus Torres, Kids from the three education centers (ASPIRE), that Sewa operates in Southwest Houston) and a few others who shared their experiences through video messages about the help they received from Sewa’s Family Services team.

The PVSA award ceremony was a proud moment for the 42 youth volunteers from Sewa International who had dedicated their time and energy to serve the community. Kelly Waterman, representing Senator Ted Cruz, handed out the certificates to the awardees during the PVSA award ceremony that was held before the Gala event. The PVSA award is a national honor that recognizes volunteer commitment and service. The nine Sewa High School Ambassadors were also acknowledged for their leadership and contribution.

The Gala was attended by more than 20 elected officials, including US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Fort Bend County Judge K P George and State Representative Gene Wu, who delivered proclamations from their offices.
A proclamation was also received from Congressman Al Green’s Office. A donation supporting Sewa’s cause was made by the Fort Bend County Commissioner Andy Meyers.

Dr Subodh Bhuchar made the pledge announcement and held an inspiring on-stage interaction with well-known Houston philanthropist Swatantra Jain about the joy of giving back to the community.

The audience were spellbound by the melodies renditioned by ‘Rhythm of Dreams’, who presented ‘The Sound of Fusion – a musical journey’ featuring Bollywood songs. The singers, Salil Bhadekar and Payal Mitra, delivered
soulful performances with the support of three talented musicians – Shrikant Pabrekar, Atif Ali and Darshak Thacker.

The event also showcased “Dhun”, an A cappella group from The University of Houston, who impressed everyone with their vocal skills. The evening ended with a vote of thanks from Houston Chapter Jt. Coordinator, Anup Bhasin, who acknowledged the contributions of the donors, organization partners, media partners, performers, volunteers, Sewa’s core team and the elected officials who attended the event. The guests enjoyed a delicious multi-course dinner catered by ‘Indian Summer’. The ‘Rhythm of Dreams’ artists kept the entertainment going during and after the dinner, forcing the audience to join them on the dance floor.

Pramod Bengani, Chief Trustee, ICC said – “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations on another successful year of service, which beautifully culminated in today’s fund-raising gala. The program was excellently organized. Thank you for your continuous efforts in service and community building. Your dedication is truly commendable.”

Photo Credits – Navin Mediwala and Dr Nik Nikam