Shivalya Hindu Cultural Center celebrated its annual gala and fundraising at Vermilion restaurant in downtown Chicago Jan. 28 to raise fund for the construction of its proposed temple.
Currently, the makeshift temple operates from a rented space in downtown. The organizers said they hope to build the temple once enough funds are raised. The temple celebrates all religious ceremonies, festivals and events with devotion.
At the fundraiser, about 100 devotees turned up from downtown Chicago and other neighborhoods. Jigar Shah, cultural and artistic director of Shivalya, and the core executive team organized the event. It started with networking and a cocktail reception followed by cultural performances. The program consisted of slide show presentations, Bollywood performances, musical events and an open dance floor with a DJ at hand. There were lots of big donors and devotees who donated funds for the temple. The organizers, however, could not immediately give any estimate of the funds raised. The temple aims at providing Indian values and culture to the community. As part of the fundraiser, a silent auction and raffle were also organized.
Shah, who was the master of ceremony, wooed the audience for contributions for the temple construction, stressing its importance for the community. Shivalya, he said, wants to create a community with enriched culture and values for the coming generation. Popular area singers Pratibha Jairath and Raj Bankpura gave recital of Bollywood songs.