The Chicago Andhra Association (CAA) celebrated its first anniversary on March 18 with an evening of music, dance and drama. Over a thousand people attended the event held at the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago in Lemont, Ill., a CAA press release said.
Consul General of India in Chicago, Neeta Bhushan, was the chief guest for the evening. She commended the organization for it’s thrive in preserving the culture and service to Andhra Pradesh. CAA presented her with a memento.
Amidst a plethora of several organizations representing the Telugu diaspora in the U.S., CAA strives to stand out with philanthropy as its main aim, with its central foundation, APDFNA, working primarily on service-oriented projects in Andhra Pradesh, the press release said.
CAA President Sundar Dittakavi’s vision was clearly stated through his message – that 25 cents of every dollar earned through the nominal annual membership to CAA would be spent on charitable causes. He emphasized the diversity in CAA by highlighting that the board consists of equal number of men and women.
Dr. Prakasam Tata was honored with Lifetime Achievement award for his dedicated services to tribal communities and waste water management. Frank Avila, chairman, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, also attended the event.
Sahiti Kotha, Kiran Adimulam, Sairavi Suribhotla and Mrudulatha Mathukumalli were the emcees for the evening. The entertainment segment included various dance, music and drama performances by kids and adults alike. “Beauty of Andhra” describing the greatness of the state a fashion show by senior citizens with “Unity in Diversity” theme were highlights of the evening. A skit on modern-day challenges such as academic rigor for students and weight-loss struggle for adults was also performed.
The cultural team lead by Sahithi Kotha, Sirisha Kola, Neelima Boddu, Sujatha Appalaneni and Vani Dittakavi lead the entire program managing 290 performers. The stage decoration was led by Bhargavi Nettem, Sunitha Rachapalli, Kiran Vankayalapati and Malleswari Pedamallu. Treasurer Raghav Jatla, APDFNA Director Padma Rao Appalaneni, Sailesh Maddi, Srikrishna Matukumalli, Srihari Jasti welcomed members with traditional gifts from Andhra Pradesh. Youth volunteers were coordinated by Sandhya Appalaneni and Tanvi Jatla. Event team lead by Sunitha Rachapalli executed the overall event with meticulous planning. Media coverage was led by Bhanu Swargam, Murthy Pisipati and Prasad Nettem.
Dinner with Andhra delicacies was served by Anu Gampala and Suresh Sanakkayala’s team. CAA Vice President Uma Katiki and founding committee chairman Srinivas Pedamallu and Secretary Dinkar Karumuri gave the vote of thanks and concluded the event with both the U.S. and Indian national anthems.