The Indian-American organization, India Association of Long Island held its annual fundraising gala dinner on June 30, at the Marriott, Long Island. An estimated 270 guests attended according to a press release from the organization. The funds raised at the event will go toward the India Fest, the organization’s flagship event with free admission and parking, scheduled to be held Sept. 22, at the Hyatt in Long Island
Bollywood celebrity Jinal Pandya was a special guest at the fundraising gala, and she performed two dances urging the audience to join on the dance floor.
Other special guests were New York State Senators Kevin Thomas, the only Indian-American elected to Albany, and Anna Kaplan, Chairman of Human Rights Commission Bobby Kalotee and Nassau County Human Rights Commissioner Zahid Syed, the IALI press release said.
Treasurer Rajeev Chaudhary and Event Advisor Jyoti Gupta welcomed guests. Emcee Indu Gajwani, cultural chair of IALI, invited two talented artists Khushi and Jigna Oza to perform the Ganesh Vandana, and introduced President of IALI Lalit Aery.
Aery, in his speech, dwelt on the work of the various forums and thanked members who helped organize the fundraiser
Sens. Thomas and Kaplan presented citations to all five Honorees — Indu Chhabra, Dr Vijay Rasquinha, Dr Gopal Kishore , Jasbir Jay Singh and Anupam Goenka. All the special guests and honorees were honored with plaque and a scarf by IALI officers and Executive Committee members.
For the first time, IALI launched a ‘Membership Card’ for IALI members sponsored by Gary Sikka of Mint Restaurant, Dilip Bansal of the India Visa Center, Batra (Batra Travels) and Sumit Verma of Hicksville Optical, the press release said. Naveen Shah and Madhu Pareek from Navika Group and all the past presidents of IALI cut the ribbon of the box containing the new cards, which were presented to all the officers. Gajwani announced that all the IALI members will get the cards at a later time.
The India Association of Long Island has more than 2,300 members and still growing, organizers said in the press release. “Our aim is to keep our culture alive and we do cultural program to promote the culture,” it added. To engage its members in various activities, the IALI includes a Women’s Forum, Senior Forum, Kids Forum, and Youth Forum, Meditation Forum, and a Sangeet Forum.