Sewa International Houston Chapter’s Vibrant & Successful Annual Gala

HOUSTON: Marking another successful year, Sewa International’s Houston Chapter held a vibrant annual gala on December 4, 2022 to showcase both its work and to raise money for all the benefictory  causes it supports and serves. Titled “H.E.L.P. 2022 – Local Presence, Global Impact”, the annual event concluded a highly successful year of work and dedication.

Held at the GSH Event Center, the Gala had 550+ supporters and was sold-out within a few days of opening of the booking. The Emcee of the evening, Nithya Hari of Bollydood Dancing Stars, was introduced by Sewa Houston Chapter Executive Director, Kavita Tewary. The event began with a Ganesh Vandana (prayers to Lord Ganesh) dance performance, by students of the ‘Kathak Beats’ (Guru Manjusha Jadhav). Gitesh Desai, the President of the Houston Chapter of Sewa International welcomed the gathering highlighting that the strength of the Houston Chapter is its volunteers, who exhibit both ‘amity and unity’. He appealed to the community to contribute to the betterment of society through, ‘time, talent and treasure’. This was followed by a video showing Sewa Houston Chapter’s contribution to the society as well as its Disaster response efforts.

The heart of the gala were the live testimonies from some of the beneficiaries of Sewa, which included verbal accounts from Ms. Constance Swift, Dr Katherine Garcia, Ms. Roche Angelique, Mr. Kartik Trivedi, Ms. Sunita Shahi, Ms. Mehzabeen Sayani, Mr. Akash Rami & Mr Siddarth Chauhan. They spoke about their experience working with Sewa Volunteers and how Sewa helped them immensely, be it medical support, bereavement or working with underprivileged school kids in Alief ISD.  The Fundraising appeals were made by Nikhil Jain, Dr Madan Luthra, Carol Juarez and Nithya Hari.

28 youth volunteers from Sewa International received PVSA award during 2022 and those present amongst the audience were felicitated. Just before the start of the Gala, these young awardees were presented with their PVSA certificates by Raj Salhotra (co-founder of two educational non-profits). The President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) is a prestigious national honor offered in recognition of volunteer commitment.

Sam Merchant, the Outreach Liaison of Office of Congressman Al Green read out the proclamation issued to the Sewa International Houston Chapter, by the Congressman, on the occasion of this annual Gala.

Anis Chandani, the ‘One Man Band’ and flute maestro from Los Angeles, provided wholesome entertainment, mesmerizing the audience with his melodious flute tunes, and Bollywood songs. He performed live, table to table in the audience enthralling the entire audience. He was ably aided by talented local vocalists from the ‘Sargam Group’, Rashmi Nayar & Sankar, who renditioned Bollywood melodies making the audience dance and swoon.

Houston Chapter Jt. Coordinator, Anup Bhasin concluded the evening by thanking all those who put together this gala that included the donors, organization partners, media partners, performers volunteers, Sewa’s core team and the elected officials present at the event.  A scrumptious multi course dinner was served by Madras Pavilion. Anis Chandani continued performing during dinner time, with the audience dancing and singing around him, which continued till late in the evening.

Photo Credits – Navin Mediwala & Thiru T A