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Fundraiser banquet

The second annual fundraising banquet and auction of India Community Center was a sold out event, writes Shalini Narang.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2005 19:31 IST

The second annual fundraising banquet and auction of India Community Center (ICC) titled Building For Tomorrow on Friday, November 11th at the Santa Clara Marriott was a sold out event marked by a rare and splendid showcase of the dancing dexterity of some members of the geriatric community of the centre.

Though other performances including a folk dance by youngsters, magic tricks by Las Vegas magician, Simon Winthrop and Qawwali renditions by the Nizami Brothers of Delhi provided great variety to the entertainment smorgasbord of the evening, yet the undisputed highlight of the glitzy gala was the show by the senior citizens. The dancers in the age group of 60 through 72 of the aptly named Jollywood Club of ICC gyrated into the hearts of the 650 plus audience with their peerless performance on the foot tapping and hand clapping Dhoom macha le and Mahi ve numbers. The well-applauded standing ovation to the elderly performers was a richly deserved response.

The glamorous evening was not only well attended by the who's who of the successful Silicon Valley Indo-American community but also by Congressman Mike Honda and Mayors of Oakland and Milpitas. Raj Mathai, NBC 11 Sports Director and a two-time Emmy award winner as the master of the ceremonies commented that Indians as a community have come a long way in the Bay Area. He added that beyond software and silicon conglomerates, the penetration of the community members is also being felt in other professions like journalism, fine arts, writing and others.

India Community Center is the largest community facility in North America focussed towards providing Indo Americans a tryst for communal intermingling. The facility offering varied social, cultural, educational, professional and recreational programmes and classes highlighting Indian heritage in the varied performing, culinary, literary and other arts are well attended by people of all ages especially children who are brought in to learn about the diverse and rich aspects of Indian culture including various forms of vocal and instrumental music, classical and Bollywood dances, languages and other arts.

Anil Godhwani, Founder and President of ICC thanked the attendees for their support and talked about the rapid growth of ICC. He said, "Classes in ICC have grown from 150 to 650 and the attendees in the summer camps have risen from 120 to 450. With the move to the larger facility in Milpitas next year, we will add more quality programmes for varied age groups and interests. Our long-term goals are to open more facilities in the Bay Area and in other states in US on lines of the centres in Milpitas and Sunnyvale."

Significant target beneficiaries of the centre are the seniors who are offered communal support and health services besides a rendezvous for everyday conversations. ICC has filled the essential niche in the arena of emotional care for the seniors of the Indo American community and their enthusiastic performance was exemplary of camaraderie at its best. The proceeds of the evening went to the varied programmes including the purchase of a bus to herald children from schools for after school programs and other transportation requirements of the patrons.

The high energy live auction of various goods and services including dance lessons by choreographer Mona Sampath, lunch with Shekhar Kapur, dinner cooked by members of the ICC Board in the winner's house and other attractions incited huge bids ranging from $2000 to $6500. Talat Hasan, ICC Chairperson said: "the aim of raising $250,000 for the evening had been exceeded at the gala."

The range of offerings at the silent auction also included attractive packages to premier hotels and resorts, golf packages at attractive clubs, ski sojourns, backstage passes and tickets for a premier theatre shows, a studio tour and many others.

Besides the programme, the attendees also enjoyed a sumptuous dinner catered by Amber Indian restaurant. On site childcare facility was another plus of the well-planned and memorable evening.

First Published: Nov 17, 2005 00:00 IST