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FIA of Southern California


Charity Drive By FIA of Southern California & The Uka Solanki Foundation

Los Angeles: April 04, 2010
By Dilip Butani

Federation of Indian American Associations of Southern California and The Uka Solanki Foundation joined hands in the Charity Drive for the earthquake victims, held at The Woodlands Restaurant, on March 28, 2010. Cypress Mayor, Dr Prakash Narain was the Chief Guest. The Assemblyman Tony Mendoza was represented by Vivy Chao.

The program started around 11:30 with a formal reception. Treasurer Ramesh Ramnani, the emcee, invited Dr Prakash Narain, Chairman Dilip Butani, Shri Ukabhai Solanki, Chairman of the Foundation, President Dr Sinduri and Executive Vice President Atul Ghadiali, to the head table.

The reception started with national anthems of USA and India sung by Carolyn Reyes and Sunil Kansara respectively.  Dilip Butani then welcomed everyone and spoke about the two earthquakes that hit Haiti and Chile early this year. He then introduced the FIA Team that worked hard for the function. Next, Vice President P.K. Nayak introduced Ukabhai and invited him to speak. Ukabhai in his speech mentioned that he would match the amount collected, up to $10,000.  He said Indians have always taken lead in educational and social causes. Dr Sinduri in her speech mentioned about the forthcoming Grand FIA Cultural Show cum Independence Day Celebration in August 2010.

Vivy Chao then presented the Certificates sent by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza to the committee members. Tony couldn’t attend the function due to prior commitments. Next Prakash Pancholi introduced the Chief Guest Dr Praksh Narain. Dr Narain congratulated FIA and Uka Solanki Foundation for taking a lead in the charitable drive. He then presented a plaque to the Chairman Dilip Butani. Dr Narain also gave trophies to Meera Kansara, Mansi Kansara, Pooja Nayak, Carolyn Reyes, Vinaini Jayasinghe, Arnawaz Dungore, Nauzad Sadry and Anjli Gandhi. On behalf of the Artesia Mayor Tony Lima, Manu Patel presented Certificates to Committee Members.

Reception was followed by a small entertainment program, emceed by Ramesh Ramnani. First was a song in Gujrati sung by Vice President Sunil Kansara and Meera Kansara. The song, translated into English by Mansi Kansara, means ‘the beautiful world of ours is the creation and true temple of the Almighty. It's vastness and greatness is par excellent. But occasionally when we face situations like Haiti and Chile, we witness Almighty's power, which can give or take life in a fraction of minutes; and while helping the world heal such occurrences, we see the glimpse of benevolent side of the Almighty. Next was a song by Vinaini Jayasinghe followed by a dance by Anjli Gandhi. Nauzad Sadry, the versatile Bollywood singer, also entertained the audience with some lovely songs.

Next was a wonderful presentation of a slide show by the Secretary Vijay Patil, which summarized the impacts of both, Haiti and Chile earthquakes. Vijay started with a brief profile of Haiti and provided alarming earthquake facts. He showed a few dozens of eye-opening pictures of collapsed houses, massive destruction of property and infrastructure, victims seeking desperate help and thousands in temporary shelters. The audience also found  Haiti-Chile comparison very helpful in understanding the magnitudes of these two recent natural disasters and the impacts of their severity on these two nations. After painting a dreadful picture of the victims’ dire needs, Vijay, Nayak and Ramnani urged the audience to make donations to help disaster victims rebuild their lives and their communities.

P.K. Nayak was instrumental in conducting and bringing the maximum articles for the silent auction. The jewelry was brought by Rupa Nayak & associates while Ketan Pandya of Bombay Jewels brought in various items like paintings and furniture items. Rocky Chugani from Rocky's Custom Clothes of Sherman Oaks also donated some items for the auction.

Ramesh proposed a vote of thanks and also reminded attendees to donate and bid for displayed items. Atul Ghadiali was responsible for the wonderful planning and arranging the entire function. He made regular announcements for the silent auction. Harshad Mody, Woodland owners Kerman & Arnawaz Dungore and Amrit Bhandari also helped in organizing the function. 



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