Chicago IL: Gandhi Samaj of Chicago celebrated its 32nd Annual Summer picnic with fun, games, social and great food. It is one of the oldest Indian communities from south Gujarat part of India, started in 1984 by a few families. Today, Gandhi Samaj of Chicago has over 300 families throughout the Chicagoland area and is growing strong each year.
Today’s Summer picnic was the first event of the year after last year’s Diwali program and the excitement could be felt in the air as families mingled, laughed, and played games with each other. Despite the rain showers in the morning, families came together on this day to enjoy each other’s company. Morning breakfast was traditional style Fafda, Jalebi, Marcha and Chutney and Tea. The Samaj remains strong given support from its members. Tea was sponsored by Rajnikantbhai / Kumudben Bharucha family and prepared by Saroj Ghayal.
Next, the games for Adults and Kids kicked off with popular musical chair and lemon spoon race. “Kids and adults have so much fun with these games, and it has become one of the ritual for our summer picnic” said Roma Bhagat, Hiren Ghayal and Hiral Gandhi, from the games committee.
Lunch this year was even more special, with all of the entrees cooked on site with the help of caterer Sankalp restaurant. They cooked Eggplant potato curry (shaak), okra tomato vegetable, and masala chicken. The lunch menu consisted of 2 vegetables, 1 chicken dish, Garlic Naan, Jeera Rice, Kadhi, Papad and Salad. Soft drinks were served courtesy of Neil/Roma Bhagat and Manahar/Meenaben Gajjar family. Toys for kids were provided by Jayesh/Kusum Pastakia.
Today’s picnic was attended by over 350 people and was one of the best picnic in recent times. Bharatbhai, one of the committee member and father of the President, along with Dipakbhai Ghayal served all the families with masala chicken which was the hit item of the day. Gandhi Samaj of Chicago picnic is like a family event where everyone lands helping hand in different areas. Servers for the picnic were Reshma Gandhi, Rina Gandhi, Riya Ghayal, Mohini Ghayal, Morgan, Sharda Chahwala, Kumud Bharucha, Meena Gajjar, Dineshbhai Gandhi, Raju Ghayal, Falguni Valsadia, Tejal Modi, Hetal Gandhi, Ashwin Gandhi, Jagruti Ghayal, Hina Ghayal, Nitin Gandhi, Hemaxi Kapadia and the past president and current treasurer Ashwin Bodalia.
After lunch we had another round of games for kids such as sack race and limbo. Kids were distributed water guns as the game prizes. Everyone was enjoying the beautiful weather and socializing with each other. The day ended with sundae cones ice-cream for everyone. Keyur thanked Ashwin Gandhi for arranging the ice-cream. When asked about President Keyur Ghayal’s reaction about the picnic, he said “My focus over the next two years is simple, and that is to bring the community together through the events we will put together during the year. We’ll have fun, share a few laughs together, and enjoy each other’s company.” I think, this picnic was a perfect prelude to the President’s vision. He added “We will continue to build on our values and tradition, help support the younger generation, and remain involved in the community.” Gandhi Samaj of Chicago picnic concluded at 5pm. Picnic was also attended by FIA dignitaries like Sunil Shah and Dhitubhai Bhagwakar.
Thanks to Hitesh Gandhi, Executive Vice President of GSC, for putting a face to Gandhi Samaj of Chicago in the Chicagoland community. “I am very happy with the Food donation we received for the food pantry that we donate to from our community” said Ashwin Bodalia, past President of Gandhi Samaj of Chicago. We started this tradition 3 years ago and it has become one of the many ways we help communities around us. We collected cereal, soup cans, vegetable cans, pasta, etc. as a donation to the local food pantry.
The committee worked for 2 months planning for this event including finalizing food menu items and games for kids. Everyone was happy with the new committee and the effort they had put into the planning and execution of this picnic, and the members are excited to see what other events they have planned for the rest of the year.
Committee: Keyur Ghayal (President), Hitesh Gandhi (Executive Vice President), Bhumika Gandhi (Vice President), Ashwin Bodalia (Treasurer), Manhar Gajjar (Secretary), Roma Bhagat (Cultural Secretary), Bharat Ghayal, Ramesh Gandhi, Dipak Ghayal (Joint Secretaries), Priya Ghayal and Hiren Ghayal (Youth Secretaries).
Source: Asian Media USA
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